Jared Kloeker, BSEd ’18, Elgin Middle School, Elgin ISD
Seventh Grade Texas History
Coach for Football, Basketball and Track
Baylor prepared me well. Content wise, I was absolutely solid. Arsenal of learning techniques, double check. Classroom management was honestly not my strongest suit when I graduated, so I knew I was going to have to work hard on it. But when I looked around at the other teachers in the hallway (7 of 10 were new teachers), I could tell there was a large difference in how efficient my classroom was in management and better test scores, than teachers who went to other colleges. I am so much better off having gone to Baylor than if I had attended another school. Baylor goes out of its way to expose students to things that most teachers won’t encounter until they actually have a classroom of their own.
For those graduating now or in the near future, here’s some advice:
The first year is going to be a whole bunch of new things that you may not have experienced fully at Baylor. You may feel obligated to take on additional roles outside of teaching. That’s great. But when times get tough, there are three main things you need to be aware of:
1) People may/are going to try and pull some things over you, because it’s your first year and your first teaching job. Stand firm and tall like a mountain.
2) Your fellow teachers are your family; you can always depend on them, and you need to be there for them if they need it. You will rarely see a mountain standing by itself.
3) 10% of your kids are going to cause 90% of your classroom problems. Don’t judge the whole by the actions of the few or the one. Most kids are good and would do anything you ask them to if they know you care about them.
Also… You may be single, dating, engaged, or married, you may have children or not. Don’t be afraid to take the important people in your life to school events. Teaching and coaching will eat up so much time. Teachers who involved their families and important people in school had much better relationships with students. Students absolutely LOVED meeting teachers’ husbands, wives, babies. It humanizes you in their eyes. Try it now, thank me later.
And… Go ahead and get your ESL certification while you’re there; most places want you to have it.
Lastly, if you have a dream district or school you want to work in, apply, email, interview. And if you don’t get your dream job, it’s OK; take a job in another district and work a year. A lot of schools don’t want to hire a first-year teacher. It’s not personal. This comes from a guy who wrote HAYS CISD OR BUST on his window. I didn’t get it at first, but with experience under my belt, I have many more opportunities in my future.