欢迎来到您的第一学年. This year will test you more intensely than just about anything you’ve done up to now. It will deplete all 您的 energy, bring you to tears, 和 make you question every talent or skill you thought you had. But all these tests, if you approach 他们 the right way, will leave you better 和 stronger than you are today.
By finding the positive, supportive, energetic teachers in 您的 学校 和 sticking close to 他们, you can improve 您的 job satisfaction more than with any other strategy. 和 您的 chances of excelling in this field will skyrocket. Just like a young seedling growing in a garden, thriving in 您的 first year depends largely on who you plant 您的 self next to.
The 万寿菊 Effect
许多经验丰富的园丁都遵循一个称为 同伴种植: placing certain vegetables 和 plants near each other to improve growth for one or both plants. For example, rose growers plant garlic near their roses because it repels bugs 和 prevents fungal diseases. Among companion plants, the 万寿菊 是 one of the best: It protects a wide variety of plants from pests 和 harmful weeds. If you plant a 万寿菊 beside most any garden vegetable, that vegetable will grow big 和 strong 和 healthy, protected 和 encouraged by its 万寿菊.
万寿菊s exist in our 学校s as well – encouraging, supporting 和 nurturing growing teachers on their way to maturity. If you can find at least one 万寿菊 in 您的 学校 和 stay close to 他们, you will grow. Find more than one 和 you will positively thrive.
Few teachers will be lucky enough to be planted close to a 万寿菊 – being assigned to one as a mentor, co-teacher, or team leader will be rare. 您 will have to seek 他们 out. 您 can identify 他们 by the way they congratulate you on arrival, rather than asking why anyone would want this godforsaken job. Or by the way their offers to help sound sincere. Or just by how you feel when you’re with 他们: Are you calmer, more hopeful? Excited to get started on a teaching task? Comfortable asking questions, even the stupid ones? If you feel good around this person, chances are they have some 万寿菊 qualities.
Once you’ve identified 您的 万寿菊s, make an effort to spend time with 他们. Having a hard day? Go to 您的 万寿菊s. Not understanding how to operate the grade reporting system? Go to 您的 万寿菊s. Confused by something the principal said at the faculty meeting? 万寿菊s. They may be on the other side of the building, out of 您的 grade or subject area, or otherwise less convenient to reach than others. If 您的 学校 是 especially toxic, you might have to find 您的 万寿菊s in another 学校, or even online. Make the effort. It’s worth the trouble.
While seeking out 您的 万寿菊s, you’ll need to take note of the 核桃树s. Successful gardeners avoid planting vegetables anywhere near 核桃树s, which give off a toxic substance that can inhibit growth, wilt, 和 ultimately kill nearby vegetable plants. 和 sadly, if 您的 学校 是 like most, 核桃树s will be abundant. They may not seem dangerous at first. In fact, some may appear to be good teachers – happy, social, well-organized. But 这里 are some signs that you should keep 您的 distance: Their take on the kids 是 negative. Their take on the administration 是 negative. Being around 他们 makes you feel insecure, discouraged, overwhelmed, or embarrassed.
WALNUT TREES ARE POISON. Avoid 他们 whenever you can. If you don’t, they will start to infect you, 和 soon you’ll hate teaching as much as they do.
Doing this may be a challenge: 您r supervisor might be a 核桃树. 您 may be co-teaching with one. 您 might work on a whole team of 核桃树s, spending hours with 他们 every week. Touching base with 您的 万寿菊s will help flush out the toxins that build up from contact with the 核桃树s. On top of that, simply identifying certain co-workers as 核桃树s can help dilute their power over you. If I’d had a label I could mentally place on certain people in the 学校s where I worked, they would have had far less of an impact on me.
So in the spirit of identification, 这里 are some common 核桃树 varieties to look out for:
Kid-Hatin’Kate, who will snort every time you share a positive anecdote about 您的 students. Spend enough time with her 和 you’ll believe every single one of 他们 是 a lying, cheating little sneak 和 you’re a fool if you think otherwise.
退休丹, who regularly reports on how many years he has left before he’s “outta 这里 .” He then adds with a chuckle that you have about thirty, right? Dan will find 您的 enthusiasm about 学校 “cute,” but will then tell you to “just wait…it’ll wear off.”
坏蛋鲍比，他偷听您谈论您的学生在课堂上的表现，并说：“他们永远不会尝试 我的 房间。”每当您与他交谈时，您都会对孩子大喊大叫。
我的时代玛格丽特, who counts the number of minutes she got for lunch, complains about serving one more day of car-rider duty than anyone else, 和 知道 s precisely what time she’s legally required to be in the building each day (not a minute earlier).
Be especially vigilant during PDs, when you’ll find 您的 self in a veritable forest of 核桃树s. It will be the worst when the presenter asks you to perform some task – read student work, for example – in groups. The trees will slowly turn toward the center, leaves rustling, snarky comments dropping off their branches like 核桃s whacking the table. It won’t matter how potentially interesting the activity might be, as soon as they huddle up it will be snark, snark, ugly, ugly, hate, hate. When this happens, recognize that you are surrounded, hold tight to 您的 roots, 和 remember 您的 万寿菊s.
Get What 您 Can, Where 您 Can
您r search for 万寿菊s will yield imperfect results: Not everyone 是 all-marigold or all-walnut tree. There will be some in the building who just make you happy – go to 他们 for a mood boost. Some who aren’t terribly good at the teaching part, but love the kids to death – seek 他们 out when you need to be reminded of how much you love 他们, too. Others will take care of you – encourage you to rest, slack off a little, not beat 您的 self up. 和 some who are intensely into the craft, who always have a great strategy on hand 和 keep up on current research – they can really help you stretch 您的 abilities. Learn who has what 万寿菊 qualities 和 get what you can from each of 他们.
Finally, try to find some compassion for the 核桃树s. Their toxicity comes from a place of real pain, 和 they 他们selves probably fell under the influence of the 核桃树s who came before 他们. Plus, it’s not like their complaints have no basis in reality. Teaching 是 一项艰巨的工作，有人说几乎是不可能的-就像攀登珠穆朗玛峰（如果您’最后一个隐喻）。还是你’意识到困难，尽管在失败之前有很多困难，但您已经接受了挑战。
在爬上该峰之前，您需要选择一个夏尔巴人来护送您完成跋涉。第一个选择是Walter Nutt，他首先问你为什么在世界上’d想做这样的事情。他描述了许多尝试攀登而丧生的人，您会生病的程度，人们如何污染小径，几乎摧毁了曾经原始而美丽的山峰。第二种选择是玛丽·戈尔德（Mary Gold），祝贺您的勇气，与您坐在一起制定一些重要的策略，最后说出 It’s a crazy-hard, mammoth task, but you 知道 what? We’re going to kick that mountain’s ass.
Find 您的 万寿菊s 和 stick close to 他们. Grow big 和 strong. Kick that mountain’s ass. ♦