I am a mom first, and then a teacher! Teaching is my passion, but my own children (and grandchildren now) will always come first in my life. I have taught K-5th grade. I've taught SLD, ESL, AIG, children with special needs, children that just need lots of love, and children that are so much like my own children! (I do need to add that I have a great husband who backs me 100% and is always supportive of my teaching and the countless hours I spend on the computer and cutting out laminating, and centers, and.... again the list goes on!)
I have taught in two school districts and in 6 different schools! I won't even count how many principals I have had throughout the years! I feel that moving grade levels and schools has taught me so much about change and how teachers need to be flexible in their teaching.
My advice to younger teachers just starting out is "Do Not Stress!" Find a mentor or someone to talk to who you feel cares about you. I still stress about grades, testing, my room, my students, giving enough homework, doing enough..... the list goes on. Now I know though that I will stress and I also know that I can go to one of my close co-workers, tell her about it and then put it aside. Some things you can not do a thing about and you can not save each child. You can teach each child and care about each child.
A much younger teacher told me one time that if her students left her knowing that their second grade teacher loved them, then she was satisfied. She is a great teacher academically, but she also knew that without love and caring, her teaching was not complete. I have always carried this thought in my heart and try and remember that each child is put in my room for a reason. I do not need to concentrate on changing them, but on changing my teaching so each of these precious children can learn.
Enjoy your teaching career and do not rush through the days! Enjoy your students and laugh with them. They will learn and you will find creatives ways to teach them. The memories they have of a loving and caring teacher will always remain with them!