I recently read a blog article titled 10 Things I wish I knew My First Year of Teaching by Terry Heick. Great commentary! I hope that you will read it! Several of her items bring back many memories because they hit so close to home.
My favorite is #4. Get cozy with the school custodians, secretary, and librarian. She says, “You’ll need them.” She is so spot on!!!
My first year of teaching, I had moved from one state to another. No one knew me. I had to create my own network. After substitute teaching from August through November, I got my first teaching job at a high school at Thanksgiving time.
I was told that I would float (no classroom…I moved between rooms) and that the position would be eliminated at the end of the year because of dropping student numbers.
I didn't care. Are you kidding?! I was too excited!! I had my first teaching job! Yahooo!!!
I quickly learned that the librarian (media specialist) was my best friend. She gave me a place to put my stuff, work between classes and during my planning period. She helped with teaching me the culture of the school and how to get things done! What was really cool is she did this for other teachers and we kind of developed the floaters club in the media center.
The custodians were also my number one friends. They helped me find extra furniture for the classrooms I was in and they helped me find places to leave some of my materials in storage closets near the rooms I was assigned to use. They would keep an eye out for things that might be useful to me and make suggestions in my travels throughout the building and the many classes I visited. Invaluable!!!
Finally, the school secretary helped me stay on top of forms that needed completing and where to and when to submit them. She explained to me the ins and outs of the building like where I should eat, parking and acquiring additional supplies.
My first year and subsequent years, I learned that the media specialist (librarian), custodians, and the secretary were people who truly knew the building and could help make your life easier.
As you start the school year, get to know each one. Take the time to go to each individual and introduce yourself and ask for advice.
You will be forever glad that you did!!!