Now if you are in the game as I call it. Or you are seriously thinking of it. Here is some unsolicited advice. Here are my credentials and background.
In that I taught in the Los Angeles Area with both Los Angeles Unified School District for 3 years. Then I went over to the Dark Side. When I became a Juvenile Hall Court School Teacher for over 20 years. (I taught the Guys you really do not want in your classroom)
What my classroom sorta looked like. By the way the opinions put forth are mine and not the districts that I worked for.
This was the School Uniform looked like
So here goes nothing!
- You have to like kids and want to work hard.
- The Kids have a built in Bullshit detector & will call you on it.
- You really can not be a Racist. As kids come in all shapes, sizes, colors and silliness.
- To get respect to you have to give respect.
- The most powerful things that you have are your ears & your mouth.
- You have to know your stuff. If you do not. Be honest and admit it! That alone will astonish the kids!
Moving right along! Some advice for yourself
When I was a lot younger and more skinny than today. I went up and joined the US Army. (It was one of my better ideas by the way)
Where on the first day. I got this advice from one of them. “You can’t help anybody until you take care of yourself first!”
Now when I heard this. I thought that it was the most outlandish thing that I heard in awhile. But as the program started. I found it to be very true. It also applies to the job of being an Teacher.
Below here are the major reasons. On why Teachers quit or be forced to quit in such vast numbers. While in the early stages of their career.
- Booze or drugs
- Family Problems
Money – Yes it is true that Teachers at first get paid beans. Plus you have a lot of expenses even before you get into your classroom.
Like for example -Student Loans, getting a car, a decent place to live, professional looking clothes. Plus quite often you spend your own money on getting stuff for your classroom. Crazy huh?
Now for some good news. A lot of this stuff you can write off on your taxes. So get a good CPA ASAP!
Also if you can start putting away a little cash in a TSA. (Tax Shelter Annuity)
Congress passed years ago this program that actually helps the Teacher save up for their retirement. Trust me on this one. Retirement comes a lot faster than you think!
Buy a House! Banks love Teachers as they have a steady government backed income.
Loan Forgiveness – As A Teacher there are Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers. It’s a lot of paperwork. But its FREE Money in your Pocket!
Get Married to a good steady partner who has a different job than yours!
Also you can get A Pension! AS long as you do not borrow against it or withdraw the money from it.
Booze / Drugs
You would be amazed on how many Teachers are very familiar with Adult Recreational / Stress Relief Toys.
So be very careful in this area! As I have seen a lot of fine Teachers basically crash & burn their careers because of this stuff.
As a Teacher you are going to be exposed to every sickness that your kids have. That and you are usually under a lot of stress to do the right thing for your students.
That is why a lot of Districts give out a fairly liberal amount of sick days. Mine gave me 10 days a year for example.
Here is some tricks that I learned the hard way.
Get plenty of sleep. Especially naps after you get home.
I myself had the Half Hour Rule.
Which was that when I got home. I sat down was handed a Dr Pepper and left alone for a half hour. Unless of course the House was burning down or something like that.
(For me at least it worked)
But the Bottom line is this.
Eat Properly and at established regular times.
Do not consider sleep a luxury
Listen to your body. Its trying to tell you some important stuff
Set some fun time for you and your loved ones. It really helps! As does getting some hobbies.
A little exercise will do wonders. Like walk to the end of the block for example. Just do not over do it.
Have some good & trusted friends that you can talk to.
I can not think of a quicker or more effective way to TERMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE YOUR CAREER OR SOUL!
I myself just can not understand this stuff. I also think that the Bottom Pit of Hell is not HOT ENOUGH for these folks!
Now nobody escapes from this one. Especially if it’s the nearest & dearest. If this does happen.
This is also when you find out who are your friends are. Also it is always wise to tell your Supervisor & your Union. Because if they do not know. They will start to think that you are messing up.
As for me. Somehow my Students found out that I had such problems. It was really amazing & touching to me. On how kind and supportive they were to me. Go figure!
There are also a group of folks that can really help out at such times. They are called Social Workers. A good one is worth their weight in gold. When it starts raining shit.