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15 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Becoming a Teacher

15 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Becoming a Teacher

Jill Hare | Editor,

6. Your principal can be your greatest ally or biggest enemy.

Each school is ruled by the principal. In a perfect world, good work would be rewarded with the respect of a principal. However, the world is not perfect. Principals, like the rest of us, have their quirks. Each principal has a unique way of measuring teacher success, and it’s important to find that out early on.

I was the music teacher in an elementary school. It wasn’t my teaching the principal was concerned with. Instead, if the PTA parents thought my musical was good, she was happy. Be bold and ask your principal exactly what they’d like to see from you in any given year. If they answer you and you measure up, you should have good things in store.

7. More degrees mean more pay.

While the rest of the world works toward promotions, teachers have only pay scales related to degrees/credit hours earned. Some states now pay extra for additional certifications, too. I wish teachers could get promotions based on merit, but since that’s not the norm for public schools, it’s smart to keep learning. Not only will it pay off in the long run, but it’ll help keep you up to date on new technologies and advances in teaching.

Search degree programs now.

8. Earning the respect of students is hard work: the older the students, the harder the work.

I remember being right out of college and substituting in a high school. I tried to look “old” so my students would take me seriously and respect me. Little did I know it had nothing to do with my appearance. Earning respect has to start from day one. It’s about being consistent, fair, and dependable as a teacher. Once you’ve earned their respect, all the hard work you’ve put into being someone they can respect is totally worth it.

Read more… 5 Tips for Teaching Students to Respect Authority

How to Deal with Power Struggles in the Classroom

Do Your Students Take You Seriously?

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