Mentoring the next generation

I had the privilege of walking with a future teacher at this past weekend’s Relay for Life.  While we were walking, he shared with me his concern about how “strict” he should be with his students.

It occurred to me that many new teachers have the same concerns besides how to teach.   Wanting to be liked by their students and how to establish boundaries for acceptable student behaviors are most frequently the top two on any teacher’s list.

For all the future teachers I know, here are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned in my ten years as an educator:

  • Know your campus and district policies and follow them.
  • Be consistent in enforcing your personal rules, campus, & district policy.
  • There will be times when it feels like you’re the only one doing what’s right.  That’s okay.  At least you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing you did the right thing.
  • Be overly prepared.  No matter how much you plan to do on the first day of class, you will have finished everything in 30 minutes.
  • Don’t try to be friends with your students.  They will not respect you if you do this.  They WILL respect you if you give them clearly defined boundaries and enforce negative consequences every time they cross those boundaries.
  • Keep your sense of humor and laugh often.
  • If you have a stressful day & you feel like drinking, head out and run or walk a few miles instead.  The physical exercise will do much more good for you than any amount of alcohol will.  Bonus, you’ll be able to sleep better after working out than you will after going on a “bender.”

To all the new teachers that may read this, congratulations on your new career!  

It’s hard work.  You will probably cry a lot, all good educators do.  

If you ever need any help or advice, drop me a comment here at the Chronicles.  I’ll be happy to help any way that I can.


By the way, even though our local Relay for Life has been completed, it’s still not too late to make a donation through my fundraising page.  Click here if you would like to donate.


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