Do you know someone who is a first year teacher? This guide is for you. Knowing how to properly care for your first year teacher is of utmost importance! Read on.
Your first year teacher spends the majority of their ridiculously short lunch and planning periods either on lunch duty or furiously planning for next weeks lessons. Or next period’s lessons. They might even forget to eat their lunch entirely. They might forget to eat breakfast in the morning. They might forget to eat dinner at night when they’re furiously either planning or desperately trying to go out and doing something that isn’t planning.
However, it is ridiculously important that first year teachers actually eat food. Nutritious food.
Ways you can help:
–Pack their lunch for them, make sure it is tasty and includes protein and fruit and vegetables, plus a treat! And a mint at the end, if you please. Nutritious and varied lunches are key for teacher’s lounge bragging rights.
–Make them dinner when they get home, because they most likely don’t have the energy too. Or take them out to dinner. Or mail a pack of 60 frozen burritos to their apartment. All of these are acceptable and will be appreciated.
–Surprise them with a Wawa gift card. You will basically have become our saving grace if you do. At least $500 to start will get us through the week. $450 of it will be spent on coffee.
First year teachers have a LOT on their mind. In the workplace they are required to act as if nothing is wrong and smile and pretend everything is okay. When they come home they are a volcano of feelings ready to blow!
Here’s what you can do to help create an environment where the new teacher feels safe saying what they need to say:
–Save them a place on your couch for them when they come over. Make sure there are lots of blankets and also make sure your pets are on hand for them to snuggle.
–Listen attentively and definitely agree with what their saying even if you have no idea what they’re talking about. All those acronyms and something about “Common Core”. Don’t worry about it. Keep nodding and showing empathy.
–It doesn’t hurt to also have your refrigerator well stocked, as they will be over for several hours just talking to you. Even a brief visit of four and a half hours of nonstop talking should be punctuated with a snack or meal or seven.
–They also might use your bathroom several times while they are over, just so they can remember what one looks like.
3. Emotional Support
Your first year teacher is almost certainly frustrated, confused, constantly struggling to keep up on their lesson plans while simultaneously battling behavioral issues in every single class and perpetually fearing failure. And that’s only half the story. Not surprisingly, your first year teacher probably cries a lot while simultaneously being told it’s ok and also not ok to cry. Not surprisingly your first year teacher is very confused.
How you can help (this section is in dos and don’ts)
Do: Let them cry alone, if that is what they want.
Do: Give them a fuzzy blanket to wrap around themselves while they are crying on your couch, and also back rubs are ok if indicated as such.
Do: if you are a teacher as well, tell lots of stories about how you screwed up but still have a job, if applicable. The funnier, the better. The worse, the better.
Do: Provide chocolate and also juice and macaroni and cheese.
Don’t: Say “Don’t cry”.
Don’t: Give examples of teachers who have gone viral for their misdoings on media and say “at least you haven’t done THAT! Heheheh”
Don’t: Hold back on the chocolate. Quality and Quantity are both important factors here.
4. Free Time
First year teachers have no previous years of teaching to steal lesson plans from and often spend their entire first year creating their own curriculum that will work for them.
Nevertheless, first year teachers especially need time not spent planning to rewind, relax, pursue a new or old hobby, etc so they can briefly remember what it’s like to not put in 12 hours of unpaid work every single day.
Things you can do:
–Take your first year teacher on an outing on the weekend. Could be as simple as a trip to the Lego store or a billion dollar trip on a rocket ship up into orbit for a few years, but if it’s the latter, let them know in advance so they can get the sub plans together.
–Take them swimming. Who doesn’t like swimming?
–Write tomorrow’s lesson plans for them. Even if you know nothing about the content area. We’ll appreciate how it plays out in school the next day, it might be kind of funny.
This is in no way a complete guide, but hopefully provides you with some basic information on caring for your first year teacher!
Good luck, and remember to buy chocolate!