I'm tripling up and linking up with the "Loving Wisdom for New Teachers" Linky from Fabulously First, the Let's Get Acquainted - Teacher Advice Linky from Flying into First Grade, and this linky from Miss Kindergarten:
To do a little linky alchemy, my ten things are in the form of advice, gleaned from my observations and personal experiences + mistakes + successes over the years. (Also, I've thrown in some photos to break up my wordiness.)
|Me as a fresh-faced first year|
teacher! Bwahaha! Look at that
#1 - Don't ever think you've mastered it. I once worked with a guy who told me that he was planning to move into a principal position because he had "completely mastered" teaching. He'd been teaching for all of 5 years. I refrained from punching his lights out, but I did imagine doing it. If there's one thing I've learned from teaching, it is that one can never master it. You should always be striving to become a better educator.
#2 - Don't let people or "things" steal your passion. Less than desirable trends, admin, parent interactions, curriculum programs, NCLB, etc will come and go. Close your door and do what's best for your kids. Easier said than done sometimes, I know!
#3 - Love what you teach, and if you don't...pretend or at least still love how you teach it. Like our friend Dave Burgess will attest, enthusiasm is key. If you have to teach American History up to the Civil War to 5th graders and couldn't care less about history... pretend. If asked, my students would say I'm crazy about history. In reality I didn't have any interest in it...until I started to act like I did and used full fledged, in depth simulations to teach it. Now it's actually interesting to me!
#4 - Share. Seems simple, but I've found that it's not. If you do something cool in your room, share it! I want to believe that the reason teachers don't share is because they are shy about their ideas. (But I know that some just don't like to share the limelight of a good idea. :( ) The students always benefit when teachers share. So don't be shy, and don't wait for a colleague to ask you! If your colleagues don't like your ideas they won't use them. Afraid you'll look too proud of your own ideas? Who cares? You SHOULD be proud. The end.
|Don't fall into the trap of |
being a screamer.
#6 - Have high expectations for learning and behavior...AND enforce them. If you don't back up your expectations then they're meaningless. I think a lot of teachers who struggle with classroom management tell their kids that they have high expectations but then when the kids don't meet them they just let it go.
#7 - Plan. I know that many of you will read that and think, "duh!" But in my opinion planning is not just smart, it's our duty. Kids deserve their days/lessons to be well thought out and planned with them specifically in mind. Taught it 12 times before? Not to these kids you haven't. "But I want to be flexible in my teaching." Great! But being flexible is not NOT having a plan...I've heard that from teachers across my career and it's a pet peeve of mine.
#9 - Remember your real job. I almost think the hidden curriculum is more important than the actual academic curriculum. Public education was created to make people into better citizens. If I help make my kids into good people, give them good life experiences, provide them with a place that they feel safe and loved, plan exciting and engaging lessons, and get to know them as people...the test scores and all that will work itself out.
|I met Killer B when she was a resource teacher|
and taught in the classroom next to mine. I
eventually tricked her into marrying me!
|My contribution to Let's Get Acquainted!|
|Didn't win? It's just $5! Click the image to get one!|
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