“What are the three things you wish you’d known before you got hired?”
When I first became a teacher, I wanted to be the best teacher there ever was and immediately. But now 30+ years later, I can look back and think about how my thinking has drastically changed. When I saw this question, I couldn’t wait to answer it so here are my three things.
I wish I had known that I didn’t have to agree to do everything that was asked of me in order to show that I was a good teacher. It is okay to say no so you don’t overextend yourself. Rather than doing lots of things okay, work on doing a few things really well. Everyone seemed to know if they wanted something done, go ask the brand new teacher because she wouldn’t say no. It didn’t matter that she agreed to do 30 different things that were all due tomorrow!
I wish I had asked what all of my responsibilities would be first. It seems like after I got hired, I was told that I had to do this and then that and that all of that was included in my responsibilities. I know now that I could have negotiated about my responsibilities before I was hired but I was so thankful that I was hired, I didn’t ask. I remember agreeing to organizing the prom the first year I taught high school and I knew nothing about how to do this!
I wish I asked about how discipline was handled at the school. I had no idea that I would be solely responsible for discipline and that the principal didn’t really believe in doing anything. I didn’t know that paddling was encouraged and administered by the teacher! (This was over 30 years ago so thankfully this policy has changed!). I think it is important to know how the teacher is expected to handle discipline problems in the classroom and then know how the administration backs the teacher up when it has to be handled by administrators. Also, what happens when the parents get involved?
What three things do you wish you’d known before you got hired? Please share.