This article from Edutopia by Elena Aguilar has been making the rounds lately, for good reason. She captures the confusion and strains of the first year of teaching well. I’m not sure all of her points resonate so much with me, as my teaching context has been quite different than hers, but certainly I can relate to what she says. For one, I adamantly wish I’d had some sort of coach or mentor during my first year (point #5 in the post), or any year after that. Having to wing it, day after day, wears you down, even in the relatively low-stakes environment I worked in my first few years.
One thing I might add to her list, a trivial point, is to save your materials and make them reusable as much as possible. After the third or fifth or ninth time you’re cutting out the same Concentration tiles, you’ll want to turn those scissors on yourself.