I’m linking up with Miss Kindergarten for her 10 Things I’ve Learned from Teaching linky party. I’m just starting my 7th year of teaching and I can honestly say I’ve learned a million things since leaving college and actually being in the field.
1. Patience is probably the most important skill you can learn or have as a teacher. You’ll need patience with the kiddos, patience with parents, patience with special ed processes, etc. Patience is a must for any teacher.
2. It’s important to laugh and find the fun moments in each and every day. Teaching is a hard profession and it can be easy to get bogged down with all the stressful stuff. It’s really important that I find funny things in each day, whether it be something funny a kid said or did or a funny story from a co-worker.
3. You will never check everything off your to-do list. My first year I’d stay at school until 7:00 most nights and was so frustrated because I never got everything done on my to-do list. I’ve since realized no matter how late you stay or how many hours you work, you won’t get everything done. So, now I give myself a certain time to stay til every day and what doesn’t get finished is first on the todo list for tomorrow.
4. Be on the secretary’s good side. I was lucky to have an awesome secretary who I became friends with, but secretaries pretty much run the school right behind the principal. They can help you get supplies, subs, etc. You definitely want to be on their good side :-).
5. Be on the janitor’s good side. You never know when you’ll have a clean-up emergency (puke, bathroom accidents, bugs) and you want that janitor to be there quickly to help you. They have a tough job and often a thankless job – make sure you show your appreciation and gratitude for them.
6. Not every parent will like you. This is a tough one for me since I’m a people pleaser and want to be liked by everyone. Most years I’ve been lucky to have wonderful parents who are supportive and on board. Every once in while you’ll get a difficult parent who might not be a fan of you, but you have to remember that they are only one parent.
7. Always remember that it’s all about the kids. As a teacher your wear many hats and one of the most important is being an advocate for each student in your class. You need to always stick up for what’s best for each child even if it’s not the popular decision.
8. It’s important to have friends at work. I can’t tell you how many times I have been so thankful to work with not only people I call terrific teachers and wonderful colleagues, but also amazing friends. It’s nice to work at a place where you enjoy working, but you also enjoy the people you work with.
9. Sometimes the best lessons and activities are the ones planned on the fly. Every teacher knows that no matter how much you plan and how much you prepare, improvising happens each and every day. For me, some of my best lessons and ideas have come out of those moments where an idea hits me in the middle of teaching and I just go with it.
10. Teach the standards, but don’t forget about those teachable moments. Teaching these days isn’t just about teaching the curriculum and standards. Teachers now are teaching kids how to behave, how to have manners, how to work together, how to cope, and more. As a teacher, I find it’s important to remember that even though you have the set standards to teach, you still need to give time to those teachable moments that happen each and every day.
Thanks for checking out my list! I’m excited to see the rest in the linky party!