Some of what I learned from being an elementary school teacher

1.    The wisdom of an educator’s age and experience is nice but the energy of youth is better. I realized I was moving from one to the other when I noticed that while teaching I started to injure myself by being as active as I used to be.

2.    Being a parent gives a teacher an expanded point of view. When I started attending the school conferences for my own kids, I was surprised to experience a lump in my throat when my children’s teachers described elements of their school performances and character attributes through experiences that did not include me.

3.    I needed to change my classroom on a regular basis to fit the kids that were in it. I used to think the kids needed to change to fit in to my classroom.

4.    I could read a book out loud to my class and still doze lightly at the same time.

5.    It used to be hard for me to ask for help. I thought it reflected on my inability to handle my students independently. Then I realized that good teachers know how to identify the limitations of their expertise and experience. NOT asking for help reflects something different.

6.    I wish I had not engaged in a school conference with a parent and used the files from a different kid. It was embarrassing, especially in that moment when I realized what was happening.

7.    Reading a book out loud to my class brought out the hidden actor in me.

8.    When trying to teach a lesson to a student who was caught cheating, sometimes less was more.

9.    Nothing was scarier than seeing one of my students injured. If you’ve ever encountered one of your students prone on the ground and were unaware of what happened, you know what I mean.

10.    Teachers’ bathrooms should never be in or near the staff lounge.

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July 1, 2010. Uncategorized.

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