July 23, 2013

Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching

I'm joining Miss Kindergarten for her 10 Things I've Learned from Teaching linky party. I've really enjoyed all the responses from my bloggy friends, and I've found some new friends in the process. That's the best part of a linky party... finding new blogs and bloggers with GREAT ideas!

In the 30+ years that I've been teaching I have learned soooooo many things. It's taken me since Sunday when I first spied this linky until today, Tuesday, to hone my list of ten things that I've learned. You all have heard of the "A List," right? Well, I'm calling my list the "Be(e) List!"

1. I've learned to be prepared for everything and anything from what kids say to what parents ask. Never think you have enough planned, anticipate interruptions, and remember Murphy's Law. If you're prepared nothing can faze you... well, almost nothing!

2. I've learned to be silly.  I make funny faces, I say goofy things, and I behave eccentrically.  If you make your students laugh they will remember you and your lessons.

3. I've learned to be cool, or at least cool in the eyes of my students. If they are into gawdy nail polish, I'll wear green on both my fingers and my toes. I've a tattoo, multiple-multiple ear piercings, and even have teal tipped hair. If they think you are cool, middle schoolers are more apt to respond to you.

4. I've learned that it is better to silently stare with  raised eyebrow and w/o blinking at disruptive students than to say anything. I can make a 6'4" eighth grader wilt with my cultivated look.

5. I've learned to be consistent. If you waffle regarding discipline or classroom management so will your students. Set your policies and stick with them, then there are no surprises for your students and none for you.

6. I've learned to be honest. Students will see right through you if you fabricate anything. Rather than make-up something, simply tell them that you choose not to answer. They will respect you for this.

7. I've learned to be frank. Tell it like it is in a kind, respectful way, especially when speaking with parents.... and always end a conversation on a positive note.

8. I've learned to be excited about everything I do. If I can not be excited about the taxonomy of living things, how can I expect my students to be? Oh, but let me sing and clap about kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus... well, guess who else will be as well? And guess who will remember the lesson?

9. I've learned to be flexible. Things happen to interrupt your day. New teaching methods come along every so many years (can you say Common Core?). Just do your best at all times!

10. I've learned that in order to be a teacher I must be a learner. I am constantly taking college classes or professional development seminars. I participate in webinars and read teaching journals. My kids love when I talk about my own homework or something new I am learning. I value learning and model it for them and their families. They know I believe that learning is lifelong and I want them to believe it as well.

I still have 10+ years of teaching left before I retire... God willing! In the time left I know that I will continue to learn... learn about teaching, learn about students, learn about learning, and learn about myself.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6


  1. Your #2 is so important! Kids don't remember the expected...they remember the unexpected. :) Great post.
    Creating Lifelong Learners
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  2. I love that you said you are silly. I can relate to that and so the kiddos! Great Top Ten!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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