Tuesday, July 11, 2017

25 Things I've Learned During My First 5 Years of Teaching

I just completed my first five years of teaching. I have learned SO many things so far in my short teaching career. I could probably do a list of 50 or even 100...but I figured the highlights are good enough. Plus, who has time to read 100?

25. Teaching is tiring.

24. If you play it in your classroom, you will hum or sing it at the grocery store, in the car, and while making dinner.
23. You will feel lost, but you WILL get the hang of it.
22. Talk and build a relationship with the grade level above and below you. They are your best resources and allies.

21. I won't have a Pinterest worthy classroom and that is OK! There are some beautiful classrooms out there, but do what works for you.  It's important to keep in mind what you and your students like and what your budget allows.  Don't go broke on items that will inevitably be scribbled, glued, and spilled on.
20. The visitors to your room to observe- they are invisible. Do not work yourself up over an observation or walkthrough. They are only seeing a quick snapshot of your day.
19. Communicate with parents. There are so many ways to do this. Do what is best for you and the families in your classroom.
18. Do not compare yourself to other teachers.
17. Grad school while teaching is tough (but doable)!

16. Scholastic Book Clubs can be your best friend. There are so many ways to get cheap (or free books with points).

15. Give students jobs. They love to help! The most coveted job in my classroom is the sweeper vac.
14. Read professional development books, blogs, articles. Who has the time? I know, it is hard. There are great resources out there to help you learn new ideas or improve on your teaching.
13. Things will not go as expected. A lesson may flop, a field trip may be a dud, a behavior plan or chart may not work, and a whole list of other things. Learn from it and keep trying for a solution.
12. Use your time wisely at school. Some days you want to sit on your plan time and recharge and that's okay! When you use your time productively at school, it is less you end up doing at home.

11. Set goals for yourself and your students.
10. Be positive. Things going on in your personal life may want to creep in, but try to leave it at the door and give your students your best.
9. Never underestimate the power of a good book blessing. One of my grad school professors call putting new books into your library or recommending a book to the class as a book blessing. That book will become gold and they will all want to read it. Always make a big deal out of new classroom library books.
8. Limit responding to emails in the evening (set your own time of when this applies). This may seem harsh, but unless it is an emergency...it can wait. You are at home with your family and enjoy that time. The question about if there will be a kindergarten graduation can be answered in the morning.
7. There is no such thing as having TOO MANY books in your classroom. Book fairs/flyers, garage sales, library sales, DAV/Goodwill, or even families are great resources for getting new or gently used books. If you were a student in your classroom, would you want to walk up to your classroom library each day?

6. Students can do more than you think they can. Do not sell them short or hold them back because they can't.
5. Classroom management, classroom management, classroom management. It will make or break you. Always find new ideas and ways of managing your classroom.
4. You cannot fill from an empty bucket. Take care of yourself and do the things you love to destress.
3. Do not be scared to try new things- messy things, fun things, time consuming things.
2. Your kids will always be on your mind. You will wake up at 2:00am sometimes worried about little "Johnny".
1. More years of teaching...bring it!
Getting ready for Open House my first year of teaching. Wow, that window ledge was so bare. 


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