There are certainly plenty of things to have regrets about or beat ourselves up about as teachers and as parents. But... here's a few you should never apologize for.
So what?! As my mom would say..."quit boo hooing about it, learn something from it and try again". Show your students how to accept failure and start over. Now, there's a lesson worth teaching! Your failure is a powerful teachable moment for you to use with your students.
This is a big one! If you don't hold to your standards and expectations, then parents and students are going to fight you all year. Being firm is not mean or personal, it's just the law in your kingdom. Get yourself prepared with a list of all the objections you've gotten from kids or parents in the past. Next, write down your reasoning the way you want to sound when you answer them. Then. you'll be ready for the problems along the way and can face them calmly and consistently.
If you're crazy organized but others aren't and they give you trouble about it, shame on them. Enjoy your strengths and use them. We all have enough faults worry about, DON'T add your strengths to the worry list.
A perfectly coordinated room does not make you a better teacher. But, if your environment is really important to your joy each day, decorate away. Either decorating is your thing or it's not. There isn't a right or wrong here. Make your classroom a comfortable, well-functioning, happy place for you and welcoming for your students. That's enough. Just teach.
Being different is a strength, not a fault. In some schools, teachers are expected to go lock step together in each grade level or other teachers don't agree with you. I've been there and it's awful to have other teachers giving you grief because your methods, energy level or style are different than theirs. We're human, not robots. Go be YOU because that's where your strengths and your gifts are. Do your own thing as long as you get the job done to the best of your ability, you're doing what your administrator and district require of you and your students are making phenomenal progress. A happy teacher is a good teacher.
Say no first for almost everything. You can change your mind later, if you wish. But... it's really hard to go back on a "yes". I hope you stick to your guns on almost all of your nos. You do enough already.
Just be picky. There's a lot of junk out there. And... don't go buying a bunch of student worksheets or I'll have to come after you. ;)
Turns out we are human, need a break and a real life too. Who knew?! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE teaching. But, I love my family and friends too. A happy teacher is a good teacher. Rest. Recharge. You'll be a better, more productive teacher all week long if you do.
If you are spending every possible minute teaching and planning so you don't have to take stuff home, wonderful. Maybe you just need the mental break and to be a grownup, fabulous. A happy teacher is a good teacher. Did I say that already? I can't say it enough. Your students deserve a happy teacher as much as you deserve to be joyful in your work. Do what works for you and don't feel guilty.
If you actually get rid of things, good for you! Most teachers are hoarders. If there was an encyclopedia picture to go with hoarder, it would be a teacher. Seriously. I spend more time getting teachers to let go of things they are never going to use or can store digitally. Get rid of the clutter people! It's liberating, I promise.