Insider’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year as a Teacher

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Who better to tell you what working as a teacher will be like that someone has been there and worn that T-shirt? I won’t sugar the pill either! In fact, you will get the whole truth, warts and all in this post because without it you just won’t be able to decide whether education is the right sector for you. Read on to find out more.

teaching career that you chose
Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By wavebreakmedia

Meaning

One of the very best things about working education, in whatever branch you find yourself in, is the meaning that you can get from your work.

You see what you’re doing is more than just generating money for another person’s gain. In fact, it’s about providing your students with the essential skills and confidence they need to not only pass exams but to do well in life too. Something that for many has if it has a great deal more inherent value than chalking up sales figures on a board, making it a vocation or life calling rather than just a job.

Variety

Another fantastic thing about working in education is the variety that even a single post can hold for the individual that fulfills it. In fact, there is never a dull day when working in school or university because there will be so many people to interact with and lots of learners and colleges that need your help and guidance.

Stress

One of the less great things about working in education is the stress that it can involve. It can be particularly stressful for naturally introverted people to stand up in front of a crowd all day and command their attention.

Then there is the stress that can be placed upon you from others, sometimes this will be the parents and learners within the institution which you work because they will want the best assistance and learning possible so they can succeed in life. Sometime the stress will come from other places, including having to deal with behavior that is challenging.

In fact, having the responsibility not only for the behavior but also the well-being of up to 30 + individual at one time can be a colossal stressor. Especially if they choose to not cooperate with you, and decide to fight against you instead. Something that is common in many state-run institutions that deal with compulsory schooling.

Of course, if you want to work within education, but would like to minimize your exposure to this type of stress, looking at teaching jobs in FE or further education may be the best option. The reason being that the learners there will have chosen to study the courses and subjects, and so should be a lot more engaged, motivated, and better behaved.

Hierarchy

Next, a factor in teaching that can be a plus or a negative is the very distinct hierarchy that is at work within in the sector. This is because most education happens within a formal installation and such places have a great deal of bureaucracy and red tape that governs who is in charge.

Of course, for some teachers, the ultimate goal will always be to get tenure, a position where their employment is pretty much secured for the rest of their career. Which, for many can offset climbing the ladder through the hierarchy to get there.

Autonomy

Also, one of the great positives in teaching is the autonomy that it provides. OK, so you may still have to do what your superior tells you, but while you are in the classroom, it truly is your own domain. What this means is that anyone that thrives on being in control is likely to enjoy this aspect of the job.

When your teaching, the homework isn’t just for the kids!

Homework

Many people think its teachers that are the one giving out the homework to students. However, what they fail to remember is that teachers themselves often have work that needs to be completed outside of the traditional 8-3pm contact hours.

Such work can include lesson planning, marking, administration, and reporting all of which can add to an already heavy workload. Something that can add to your level of stress and make a work-life balance difficult, despite the long vacations associated with the profession.

Charisma

They may tell in your college that being a good teacher is not about personality, but in truth, this is not the case. In fact just like being a good leader, being an effective teacher takes buckets of charisma because you have to get everyone on-side before they will follow your instructions.

To that end, you aren’t prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty regarding the personality that you put into your job, working in a teaching role in education may not be the best choice for your career.