Boy oh boy! Teaching right now is…a lot. It’s a hot mess and teachers are leaving the field in droves. It’s astonishing how many teachers are leaving. I know for us in Florida, the case is dire. According to the FEA’s (Florida Education Association)website article, we are experiencing a shortage for subs, teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and more. Some of it is due to COVID. Some of it is due to pay. Some of it is due to burn out or a combination of all of it. The lack of support and the increasing workload along with disrespect and lack of empathy makes one to throw in the towel.
Not everyone wants to leave though (personally, I have like four more years in the classroom before I want to a leadership role). So, what’s a teacher to do? Well I did what I do best and went to the internet and asked current teachers what advice they had for teachers either starting out or who are just struggling to stay afloat. My personal advice is to leave stuff at school: don’t work past your contract hours. That has helped me mentally because the first of my teaching, I was drowning and was drinking more and it wasn’t helping me or my students.
So what do some other teachers have to say? Read on to find out!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help. No matter how standoffish others might seem, you need to learn and grow – James G.
- Invest in your team members. Their success is your success – John B.
- You will not always feel like you’re going to shatter into a million pieces under the pressure. It’ll always be hard, but it’ll get more manageable and you’ll learn to cope with it in a healthier way – Victoria G.
- Work your contract hours and it’s okay to say no – Steven F.
- You don’t know everything and try harder to understand all the kids in your class. Usually the rough ones have a home life from hell – Nick S.
- Ask for help but also listen to any advice given – Sarah F.
- Don’t trust anyone. Listen more than you talk. Ask for help – Alison B.
- Don’t be an island. Don’t reinvent the wheel but also don’t just use someone else’s lessons everyday. Be yourself. Some things have to slip through the cracks (but never the kids) – Katie T.
- Move to a different school –
- Make at lest one good teacher friend if you can. Teaching can be lonely if you let it be and your fellow teachers are your best asset – Jessica R.
- Go home. You don’t get a medal for staying until 6:30 or later. The kids know things too. Actually listen to them – Megan C.
- Don’t take work home! You don’t have to mark everything – Julie G.
- If I had to give some advice it would be to plan ahead by at least one week – April O.
- Give yourself and students grace – Kelsey S.
If you’re struggling fellow teacher out there, my heart goes out to you. This year personally for me has been really difficult and I’ve almost reached my breaking point!
What advice would you give a fellow teacher out there, if it wasn’t mentioned?