Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Things I've Learned From Teaching

Hell all!

The lovely and talented Hadar over at Miss Kindergarten is hosting a wonderful linky all about 10 things you have learned from teaching. I have LOVED reading everyone's responses to this linky so I figured I would add my two cents.

1. If you hoard save everything (like I do) make sure you find a good way to organize it so it doesn't drive you crazy. I have found most teachers save random items like toilet paper rolls or Crystal Light containers because you never know what project or activity will come to you that will require these items. I save toilet paper rolls for a measurement lesson that we do in the spring. My family, boyfriend, boyfriend's family, and all my students helped me collect the rolls. In no time flat, I had plenty of rolls. I am still trying to find enough space for all the rolls I collected.

2. Along with number 1, find a place to store (and be able to find) all your spare papers you get at IEP meetings, staff meetings, Professional Development, etc. This is my goal this school year. Last year, I did not do that. I just tossed papers into a box for the last 3 months of school. I don't suggest this because then you have to go through it later. Which is what I am still in the process of doing.

3. You can never have too many pencils. I think my students must eat the pencils. I sharpen a whole pack of them and within hours they have all disappeared. I tried writing my name on them. I've tried marking them with a permanent marker. I have tried writing student's name on them. No luck.

4. Document all interactions with parents. These notes can help you remember what you talked about months later. Make sure to include the date and the time, as well as, anyone else that is there. (Just to be on the safe side.) It is sad but true, we all have interactions with parents that don't always go as planned. This will hopefully help clear up any miscommunication.

5. Love what you do. We all know that teaching can be a thankless job and it can be easy to be bogged down with meetings, evaluations, standardized testing, etc. In the long run all of that doesn't matter. It's the connection with the students and the relationships you are building with them that mean more.

6. If you teach primary students you quickly have to refine your definition of personal space. I don't know how many times I have had my feet, toes, anklets, and pants played with. I understand that my feet are usually right in front of them when we are at the carpet or rug but it grosses me out when they play with my feet.

7. Have a backup plan. Some days your carefully planned lessons do not quite go the way that you wanted or they go faster than you expected. I always try to have "go-to" activities that students can do to prevent chaos from erupting.

8. Along with 7, try to be as prepared for your day as possible. Any little time students have to sit while you are trying to find that one paper or book will be used to their advantage. Many times it will be in a way that you didn't intend.

9. Try to incorporate activities you enjoy doing in your classroom. Your love for the activity will grab your student's attention and help them enjoy doing the activity. Here are a couple of my favorites...

10. You have great ideas and there are people that want to hear about it! There are so many teachers out there that are doing wonderful things but there is always another way to do it. This is one of the main reasons I decided to start my blog. I loved reading all the other blogs other there and I wanted to share some of the ideas that I was doing. I am constantly saying "Why didn't I think of that?"

Don't forget to head on over to Hadar's blog to read everyone else's advice.


  1. I completely understand #3! I had sooo many problems with this last year, I finally made someone the pencil inventory person as a job. And boom all my pencils were returned, mysteriously.

    I'm a new follower!

  2. Great ideas! I agree that it is important to tame the paper beast while you still can. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. Haha, I am totally with you on number two! My problem? I put things in a box almost all of the past couple years...last summer, I was supposed to sort and file all that paperwork, and then our school roof developed massive leaks, and we weren't allowed into our classrooms until the school year started (my grade level actually did not do Orientation with all other grades because of this!), so my boxes sat all year...and now, they have another year's worth of papers on top waiting to be sorted yet this summer...yikes!!! Great ideas in your post, thanks for sharing!

    1. Oi! That sounds like a nightmare. I was struggling with just a couple months worth of papers. Good luck with all that sorting and organizing.