You can’t do it all.
You would love to plan amazing lessons and run two clubs and tutor after school and do an online course but if you try all these things you will quickly burn out. Prioritise and make sure you have a life too.
You get really good at putting on a happy face.
I struggled with depression for a year in school but, while I was feeling like crap, it wasn’t anything to do with my pupils and (hopefully) didn’t affect their learning. Sometimes you just have to stick on a smile and be there in the moment.
You can’t please everyone.
Some pupils are going to like doing practical activities, while others would prefer a text book. I think the best thing to do is have a mixture of things in a lesson and reinforce everything you are doing.
You will spend sooooo much money.
For the two months I wasn’t a teacher, despite living on a waitresses wage, I found myself wondering why I had so much money left. Ah yes, it’s because I wasn’t buying pens and hearts from the butchers.
Never bad mouth another teacher in front of children.
It’s important you present a united front. Plus children, especially teenagers, love a bit of gossip so will naturally tell everyone about any not-so-subtle digs you make about someone else.
Some of your coworkers will quickly become your best friends.
I have met some really great friends through teaching. They know exactly what you’re going through and are there for a rant in the staff room.
But you won’t always like everyone you work with.
You’re never going to like everyone in the world so it’s obvious that you won’t like some other teachers. Luckily you can pretty much avoid them (unless you work in the same class as them). Smile and nod.
Even if you think you’re the worst teacher in the world, somewhere there is a child who is better off having had you in their life.
Hearing a pupil say you made a difference to them or even that they enjoyed your class is the best thing in the world to hear. They might not have got an A, but for some, being a good role model is enough to have a positive impact on them.
Even if you don’t have (or want) kids, you’ll feel like they are yours.
You get insanely proud of the children in your class when they achieve something. And your fridge may even fill up with drawings, notes and test scores.You’ll miss them when you/they leave and you’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling when you see they’re doing well for themselves.