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Help a Stressed Out New Teacher?

Today’s post is a question I received via email this week from a student teacher feeling “ill-prepared” for her first teaching job this fall:

Hey, Laura!
I am a 23-year-old student teacher wrapping up my ST semester. Much to my dismay, I have not had the best experience due to my cooperating teacher being very gossipy, harshly critical, and a micromanager. I have managed to finish strong, but I feel a bit of imposter syndrome since my CT has not given me any control or left the classroom much at all during the semester. I feel ill-prepared to take on a classroom of my own in the fall. Do you have any advice for how to go into my first year of teaching with confidence despite the disadvantages I have dealt with?

– Jackie*

*Not her real name. Email used with permission.

My answer (cozy up because I had a LOT to say about this one):

Resources mentioned in the video
• Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” speech:
https://youtu.be/plWexCID-kA

• Free 20Time project-based learning materials:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Project-Based-Learning-Materials-for-the-English-Classroom-20Time-Project-1918986

• Free calendars for English 9-10:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Full-Year-Calendar-for-High-School-English-9-10-180-Days-of-CCSS-Calendar-FREE-3735711

• Free calendar for English 11/American Literature:
https://laurarandazzo.wpengine.com/2016/07/23/grade-11-calendars-have-arrived/

• Quarter Trios (classroom community builder + sponge games) explainer video:
https://youtu.be/Xj-EvXAFIh4

• My shop on TeachersPayTeachers.com:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Laura-Randazzo

Connect with me!
• Comment on the video.
• Like the video and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Tedious, I know, but this really does help other folks find me and gives me a little jolt of happiness.
• Grab a free download or buy something: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Laura-Randazzo
• On Instagram: @randazzo_laura
• On Facebook: @randazzled
• On TikTok: @randazzled

Okay, blog family, what have I forgotten? What’s your advice to Jackie and all of the other soon-to-be first-year teachers feeling that same lack of confidence? Let’s fill up those teachers’ toolboxes!

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Lynnly
Lynnly
1 year ago

Laura…. Perfect advice to “Jackie.” I find so many teachers treat their insecurity with negative behaviors … degrading others, complaining about administration, and lamenting over their horrible students….!
I have taught for more than two decades as well! I completely agree that believing in yourself is crucial. This is not a job filled with praise or accolades. Those are few and far between; we build our craft through the influence of people we trust! Don’t join the negative, back-biting team! Their numbers are already too large in this extremely crucial profession!

Laura Randazzo
1 year ago
Reply to  Lynnly

Yes, Lynnly, yes! We have to protect our peace and preserve our optimism. So many folks on so many sides for so many reasons want to pop our balloon. There are, though, many wonderful folks who just keep showing up and doing the good work. Hoping our younger folks are able to keep their eyes open and find those oxygen tanks. Thanks for walking this path with me for all these years, Lynnly. ??

Anne Ireland
Anne Ireland
1 year ago

Hi Laura, I love, love, love, your video. I loved the way you inspired the student but also gave a realistic side to the job. I have cerebral palsy and wanted to be a special ed teacher, but I didn’t have the support I needed, because I didn’t know how to find the support that I needed. Now, that I am a parent of a 2nd grader, I see how much teachers do for their students. I would like to create a project where I can be a support to the teachers like maybe make templates for a weekly newsletter to the parents(that’s just an example). I just want let the teacher know that I’m there for them, so maybe they’ll feel less stress and can be there more their students. Do you have any suggestions how I can relay this to the teachers without
sounding like I’m CRAZY or get into their business?? I hope all of this made sense to you and any questions and comments will be answered and appreciated.

Laura Randazzo
1 year ago
Reply to  Anne Ireland

How lovely, Anne, to want to be supportive of teachers. That’s always a good and welcomed thing! If your child’s current teacher is already sending out a newsletter, I’d check with them to see how you could make that process easier for them. If they’re not interested in building a newsletter, you could also post your templates on TeachersPayTeachers.com to help an international community of educators. Lots of options! 🙂

Anne Ireland
Anne Ireland
1 year ago

Thanks, Laura, for the suggestions and the advice.

Laura Randazzo
1 year ago
Reply to  Anne Ireland

My pleasure, Anne! Glad you’re here with me. 🙂

Kendall Childs
Kendall Childs
1 year ago

Dear Laura . . . Good advice as always. Nothing can prepare you for the moment you step into your first classroom for the first time and you realize you are going to be alone with 30+ students and all that entails. It is terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I always tell new teachers that it takes about 5 years before you start to feel confident about teaching. There are too many moving parts and lots of things about working in a school that college does not prepare you for. Every year is different. However, it is the hardest job you will ever love. This year has been the hardest year of my 28 years, but I still love the art of teaching.
Smiles,
Kendall

Laura Randazzo
1 year ago
Reply to  Kendall Childs

Thanks, Kendall! “The hardest job you will ever love” = That rings true to me, too. Appreciate your contribution to the conversation. 🙂

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