Wednesday, July 24, 2013

10 Things I've Learned from Teaching

I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten to share 10 things I've learned since I've been teaching!  To read more on this subject, visit her blog {HERE}.

1.  Make friends with the office staff and custodians!  These are some of the most helpful people in the building.  Treat them well and your year will be much better off!

2.  Throw out anything you haven't used in the past two years.  Maybe after one year, but definitely two!  If you haven't touched it in 2 years, chances are you are never going to use it again!

3.  Let the parents who want to help, help!  I made a special folder especially for parent work and had a list of parents who told me they wanted to help with classroom things.  When I had something I needed cut out, colored, traced, etc-I'd send it home to a parent.  I would include specific instructions and usually an example and provide ample time for them to complete the project.  This made parents who work during the day and couldn't come into the classroom feel involved.

4.  Don't be late picking your kids up for lunch or special areas.  No one wants to be known as "that teacher" who's always late.

5.  Be careful with social media.  It's true, although sometimes unfair, that teachers are held to a higher standard than the rest of the world.  

6.  Collaborate with your grade level team.  This makes your job so much easier!  Ask for help or ideas when your stuck!  Don't be afraid to reach out, but also be sure to give, too.

7.  I rarely go anywhere without seeing something that could be used in my classroom.  Maybe not in the way the maker intended, but in a more creative way!  Cookie sheets for example.  I guarantee the inventor of this kitchen item never imagined they would be found being used as a magnetic board in classrooms!

8.  I have learned how important it is to build a sense of community in your classroom.  When students feel safe and comfortable in their surrounding, this opens the door to so much more learning and growth!  Take the time to get to know your students.  Have a goal to have a 30 second conversation with at least 3 children a day.  A 30 second conversation is a conversation between you and that child only, and there are meaningful interactions both ways.  This is a great chance to develop oral language!

9.  Consistency is key!  Children, and parents, need consistent routines.  I am guilty of not always keeping routines consistent in my classroom, but it really is the best way to have a smooth and productive day.  {HERE} is a great article by Harry Wong, discussing the importance of a consistent classroom.  I am not telling you to go buy his book, but it really does offer great information for new teachers.

10.  I've learned so much about myself and teaching over the past 11 years, that it's hard to narrow it down to 10 things!  I guess the last one is the Golden Rule- Treat others the way you want to be treated.  This goes for colleagues, students, parents, and everyone inbetween!  Think about how you would want your own child to be treated in the classroom, then do that for the ones left in your care each day.  Think about the way you want the rest of the staff to treat you and then treat them that way.  Kindness goes a long way!

What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment with something you've learned along the way!


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