Although just about everyone who went through public or private education had a teacher, not many of us can easily remember what it actually was like to have a teacher. And unless you have worked as a teacher in some fashion in the past, it is very difficult to imagine what it actually is like to be a teacher. However, most teachers will tell you that the art of teaching is a rewarding, challenging and unforgettable experience. Here are some of the things that you are likely to learn and experience in a day as an average elementary school teacher.
Classroom management is extremely important
This is probably the single biggest surprise most people experience when they get a chance to teach. While it is important to know your material and to be able to convey it in an effective manner to your students, the truth of the matter is that if you cannot keep your students in line, you will not be able to teach anything at all.
Many new teachers find themselves full of knowledge about the latest instructional techniques and theories, but soon come to realize that none of this means anything without the ability to keep students in their desks. Veteran teachers, on the other hand, may not have the latest theories from educational departments and teaching programs, but they will almost always have their own tried and true methods of keeping students off the walls and ready to learn.
As a result, if you are thinking of starting a career as a teacher, the first thing to focus on should not be whether or not you have a passion for your subject or whether you are the fun man or woman who loves to be around kids and share knowledge. Rather, what you’ll need to focus on will be whether or not you can manage a lot of people much younger than you who don’t know why they should be listening to you instead of having a good time. Once you’ve got that figured out, everything else comes easily in teaching.
A teacher takes a hand opens a mind and touches a heart.
The adults in the building are often just as challenging as the students
This is another surprising element of teaching that takes new teachers by surprise. Once you have the basics of classroom management down and your students can more or less sit in one place, you’re likely to find the administrators in the building to be your next challenge.
No one likes taking orders and no one likes to be micromanaged, but most schools have very definite pecking orders and teachers are very close to the bottom. Finding ways to fit in all of the requirements of the principal, the superintendent, and the board of education can be more challenging on some days than finding ways to keep your students from throwing paper airplanes at each other.
Challenges in students can often be traced to challenging parents
Finally, nearly every experienced teacher will tell you that difficult students almost always come from difficult parents. This is particularly evident whenever parent and teacher conferences roll around.