I wish someone had told me to network with other educators beyond the context of my school and open the door to communication and innovation in the classroom! There is so much great knowledge and wisdom that often goes untapped, especially due to the generation gap between new and veteran teachers. Don’t be afraid to go out and seek information from faculty members at local universities, retired teachers through district networking, and certainly, your fellow colleagues who will have plenty of wonderful ideas to share. Networking is a vital component to becoming effective teachers and lifelong learners.
AUTHOR ID: NIKITA GANATRA is a substitute teacher for the Orange County, Calif., department of education. She teaches at-risk, K-12 students in alternative educational settings.
Honestly, I wish I would’ve known how incredibly rewarding this job was. I had no idea the real kind of intrinsic rewards teaching would offer. As a preservice teacher, it was hard not to think of the “I do it for the kids!” attitude as a little cliché, but once you start making connections with students, it’s proven over and over again. If I could go back and talk to the me of five years ago, I still don’t think I could convey the joy I get from teaching in words, but I would tell him to be hopeful, intentional, and persistent. Every week I think, “Wow, I have the best job on earth” for a different reason.
AUTHOR ID: STEVE MOORE is a high school English teacher at Seton Academy, Kansas City, Mo.