During my first year of full time teaching, I cried in my principal’s office. Yes, really, I did. I had a sixth grade class with some volatile children. Some would storm out of the classroom without asking. Some even threatened other students. In general, a lot of my students came from unstable homes. In fact, one of my best students had to pack up one day simply because her father had “found” her family. While I actually had an overall successful year, these incidents left me frazzled. Yet, by the time graduation rolled around, I had learned how to be a less-stressed teacher.
Focus on the Good
Despite having students that tested me, there were plenty of good things I could focus on. For instance, many of my students became better readers. In addition, I was able to make a connection with some of my most challenging students. Graduation was a success and I’ll never forget the sixth grade vs. teachers’ soft ball game. Despite the trials, teachers always have a chance to make a positive impact on a child’s life.
Work with Colleagues
I had co-workers that I really loved and some that were more difficult to work with. When I was pregnant and went into labor early, it was nice having a team who was there to support me. Having a good rapport with your staff is essential for a positive outlook. When you are at odds with other teachers, it is going to be hard for you to collaborate. Thus, once in a while, go out for lunch to strengthen your relationship. This positive connection with your co-workers will relieve some stress. After all, after a hard day, it’s nice to be able to talk to another teacher who understands your situation.
Communicate with Parents
Parents can cause problems for teachers. I have learned that communication is vital between parents and teachers. For instance, a class website, a clear syllabus and regular communications will help parents stay informed. If parents understand the expectations of the classroom, there is less likely to be conflict. Finally, your first contact with parents should be a constructive one. Don’t wait until Johnny gets into a fight or fails the test before reaching out to parents.
Effective Classroom Management
Finding an effective classroom management system is probably one of the most important aspects about teaching. If your class isn’t running smoothly, then it’s going to be hard for anyone to learn. There isn’t one best classroom management system. Every school, classroom and grade level is different. Overall, being clear and consistent always worked for me. Having engaging lessons will help you create a better classroom environment. When kids are engrossed in a lesson, there are bound to be less behavior problems.
Less stress will make you a happier and more effective teacher.