Lesson plans, preparations, test questionnaires, table of specifications, teaching aids, tons of paper to check, recording of students’ scores, computation of grades, the upcoming class observation…. SLEEPLESS NIGHTS!
The struggle is real indeed!
Believe me! If it is your first year of teaching and you think you are about to give up because of the endless struggles that come, you are NORMAL. 😀
You are not alone in your struggle; in fact, an experienced teacher will undoubtedly say that what you are going through is a part of the process of making you an excellent educator.
Common New Teacher Struggles (And How To Deal With Them)
Here are some of the common new teacher struggles and thoughts newbies like you might be having right now:
1. LESSON PLAN MAKING
Lesson plan and test questionnaires are an important paper that your headteacher asks you to submit regularly. You cannot go on a week or two without submitting them, and these are among the many things that play inside your mind on weekends. You will soon harvest the fruit of you spending the whole night thinking about coming up with a good lesson plan or test questionnaire. You will quickly master doing it very well without having to think of it for long hours.
Four years back, when I was still working with the priests who were running the Catholic School where I worked, our school director told me that even him worked late at night and needed more than 10 books on his table just to finish his lesson plans or test questionnaires only to have them asked to be revised. He told me that as a first-time teacher, working very hard and accepting that not all things are easy can help someone improve. So, don’t give up and keep pushing yourself forward!
2. SOME ADMINISTRATORS ARE MAKING IT HARD FOR YOU
You have probably met a superior who always asks you to do this and that without considering that you have you still need to accomplish many works. Or maybe, you have this superior who keeps telling you to repeat and improve the paperwork you just submitted. Such situations happen most of the time in any schools.
When you are caught in any of them, remember that you have to practice being ASSERTIVE. Learn how to say NO in the nicest way. You have to have the guts in explaining your side and in telling that you need to be excused without sounding like you are just avoiding work. You can be open and say to your administrators how you are struggling and even ask them to give you tips or advice on how to overcome the present difficulties you have.
You think that you’ll be able to control your students, but the opposite happens. You expect them to listen to you, but you find them doing things you don’t expect them to.
Remember that you must give yourself and your students a time to be at peace. You can do this by giving them activities that push them to work independently. If you do this, you give yourself a time to get rested while supervising the students and you also control the destructing interaction of the students in the class while they are learning.
4. “I AM OVERWORKED.”
You are overworked. All the teachers are. You sometimes even take our work home to make sure we give the best for our students and fellow teachers. The fact is, you are overworked because you are a teacher not just in school but everywhere! You are a teacher all the time!
Suppose you see your student needing help in a convenience store, mall or somewhere else, aren’t you going to help?
The moment we chose to enter our field was the moment we married our profession. Our profession is not easy. It is in fact, a mission and there’s no easy mission. But if you love your work, you won’t feel overworked.
5. OVEREXPECTING CO-TEACHERS
Some of your co-teachers are expecting you to be as competent and as good as them but you are not, and you feel pressured because of it. For sure, there have been times when your fellow teacher have made you feel like you are not doing well enough and that you have to go back and sit again in the classes of your college professors because it seems like you did not have a proper training back in college.
When you are feeling like this, remember that you deserve being called a “teacher”. You just haven’t developed your full potential yet but trust yourself and know that you will be able to go with the current (or even against it) your fellow teachers are in now.
6. “MAY BE TEACHING IS NOT FOR ME”
Because of the difficulties in lesson planning, test constructing, managing the students, syllabus making and much other paperwork and school activities, there must have been times when you told yourself that you are not meant to be a teacher. There must have been times when you thought that you are meant to be doing other jobs easier than this but after that, you find yourself shaking your head and trying to banish such thoughts because the teacher in you is shouting that you are born to change the lives of your students who wait for your exciting lessons every day.
Remember that your first year of teaching is your training period and training is not always that easy. You will be tested up to your limits, but the fruit of it will surely be the sweetest. Always remember the famous quotation: NO PAIN, NO GAIN. STRUGGLE IS REAL AND SO AS JOY.