What’s so hard about teaching? Words of advice for new teachers

Article written by  Misty Adoniou for The Conversation

The first term of the school year is coming to a close. For most beginning teachers the school holidays cannot come soon enough. All of them feel exhausted.

Most will be anxious about the quality of their work – have their students been learning, are their colleagues satisfied with their efforts, are the parents happy?

Many will be wondering if they can make it through the rest of the year.

Some will leave.

What is so hard about teaching?

Teaching is complex. A primary teacher manages the learning of around 25 students each day. A secondary teacher has around 100 individuals to connect with each day.

In primary school, the teacher must organise learning in all the curriculum areas – an expert in adverbial phrases at 9am, phonology at 10am, improper fractions at 11am, the respiratory system at 12pm, musical notation at 1.30 pm and the history of federation at 2.00pm. And that’s just Monday.

Knowing their “stuff” is just the beginning of the task – they have to turn it into learning that is both accessible and engaging for every student in their classroom. And when learning doesn’t happen for some, the teacher has to figure out why and come up with a new plan.

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