Teaching- Set Up Your Day- With Success :)
Beginning the Day
Teachers, you never know what to expect each and every day that you walk into your classroom. We are trained to live every moment in fight or flight. Start your day relaxed and ready to have the best day of your life.
The key to starting the day off right, is getting to school VERY EARLY. I give myself at least an hour at school before the kids arrive. When the children arrive, my room is organized, my mind is calm and I am ready to start the day.
I believe that children thrive in my classroom in part because of my classroom organization. My students are comfortable knowing that our schedule is consistent and clearly labeled on the board each morning. In addition, that our procedures and routines are consistent each day. My classroom is well organized, everything has it's place. I truly believe that in a world where children's lives are often so chaotic, that my students excel because of this organization.
It is fairly easy to keep my room clean and organized. One way I am able to do this is through labels. I label everything I can so that it is easy for students to help put away materials. After a month in my classroom, students are equally as bothered by an object out of place, as I am. Everything is easy to find in my classroom, and students are able to get what they need throughout the day.
Section Your Classroom
I decorate and set up my classroom to look homey. I section off my room, so that students can work in different areas of the room and not feel like we are on top of each other. Whenever I am given a new classroom, I map out how I will set up my room. I use the furniture available to help me give my room sections.
When children work individually or in small groups they love to go off into different areas of the room. This gives my room an open feeling.
I make sure each section is visible throughout the classroom for safety reasons. I also always put at least 2 places for children to go when they are upset. This year, I have a "safe spot" and a "prayer chair" for students to relax when they are having a lot of feelings. This prevents the children from acting out and helps them to clam down.
We integrate technology into each content area. In my classroom I have an "Ipad Station", a laptop, a desktop computer and a smart board. I have these tools in different areas throughout my room. The children enjoy getting up and moving around the room to use these tools. If my students didn't have the space they did to move around, they would get stir crazy. We get up and move throughout the whole day. This helps to keep our classroom energy positive.
The average career span for a beginning teacher is 4.5 years. It is extremely easy to get burnt out. Teaching can be physically, and emotionally draining. My last piece of advice to you is to leave school at school. This was the hardest for me to learn. As much as teaching can consume your life you must remember that teaching is your JOB not your LIFE. After my 3rd year of teaching, I felt myself getting burned out. I didn't love it as much as I used to. I made a promise to myself that I would leave school at school. I started to not take home work.
There will always be more work to do. Once I leave school, I stop my work. While this doesn't always work, it has significantly reduced the amount of work I do outside of school.
You will be a better teacher if you find a way to keep your life mildly unaffected by your job.
I stay a happy teacher by getting to school early, staying organized and keeping my work at school :).
Please share comments on how you stay a happy teacher! We could all use the advice.