As a new teacher, I find that I have the hardest time figuring out how to leave the walls of my school. The amazing lesson plans, project based learning assessments, differentiation, class bulletin boards, meetings… the list truly goes on and on. But at what point do you move beyond your classroom and become apart of the larger school community?
I think it goes without saying that the first few years of teaching are an uphill battle of curriculum learning, self discovery and figuring out how to really be a teacher but when it comes down to it being a teacher is about 60% teaching… and about 40% everything else. Now, I am about to geek out pretty hard and reveal that I love 100% of whatever being a teacher encompasses, but I assure you that it easily takes over everything.
I am still figuring out what it takes to establish that beautiful balance, but I have found that being apart of the school community is essential to encompassing fully your duty as a teacher in your students’ lives. In my opinion, if you are only there for the 60% teaching, you are missing out on being the 100% kind of teacher that you want to be. Now, is this attainable in the long term teaching plans of my career- I am yet to find out- but here is what I know so far.
The tips that I have in how to pick the ‘right’ amount to be involved in beyond your classroom activities are what I have put into this post. Although I am still figuring it out, I do know that extracurricular is definitely worth it and those long hours pay off in the long run. You want to make yourself a valuable contributor to your school community and your students will appreciate you so much more if they know you are invested in their success- or that’s how my students are at least.
The tips of Extracurricular:
1.Be simple but effective:
-I suggest picking 2 things that will limit your choices on how to not become engulfed in everything extra curricular. Be careful because as soon as people figure out you’re willing to help out, you will be roped into everything! This is good, because it proves you are reliable and willing to become involved. But be careful as it may easily take over.
2.Follow through with everything you agree to:
-The hardest part of saying yes to the extra curricular endeavors is to make sure you are capable of following through of everything you say ‘yes’ to. Even though you may say ye to these things, not being able to commit to your commitment is a <no go zone>
3. Do your job well:
-Make sure that you get involved in things that you are passionate about, or that you are capable to go above and beyond with. Try different ideas, do things a little different, get other teachers or groups from your school involved. Little things can go a long way and your students will acknowledge the time you put in to make it awesome.
Now, I warn you. So far I have not followed my own advice. I am involved in 4 extra curricular and am working out the constant schedule of balance. But I am learning from everything I am doing so if anything, please learn from me. Things that I am loving doing this year- Student Council! Performing Arts Musical! Basket Ball Team Teacher Rep! Literacy Conference Teacher Lead!… the list goes on unfortunately.
I am still trying to figure out if this method is sustainable in the ‘teacher-life’ I am leading. But so far its working. If you have any suggestions on how to make this method work long-term let me know!