What I’ve Learned So Far In the Classroom

These Things I’ve learned in Thirty Years by Joy the Baker

Here’s a little post that popped up on my google reader this afternoon.  I’ve been following Joy the Baker for over a year.  If you’re a fan of baking and a fan of great food photography + fun writing on life, go check her out.  It also got me thinking about the things that I’ve learned about life…which lead to my thinking about what I’ve learned in the eleven years of my teaching life – I’ve learned somethings and unlearned somethings.  I thought I’d do a little jot on my blog:

  1. Use your talents not someone else’s.  Don’t try to be a ‘dramatic’ teacher if that’s not your natural self.  Be the best teacher ‘you’ can be not the best teacher ‘Shelly(or enter any name)’ can be.  An easy trap when you see a fabulous teacher who seems to do everything right!
  2. Sometimes a student’s feelings/confidence/self-esteem is more important than manners/rules.  (Remember that scene in the movie ‘Dangerous Minds’ the principal sends a troubled student out of his office because he didn’t knock) – this is a tough call sometimes.
  3. Remember to be human in front of your students.
  4. Remember to laugh with the students.  Sometimes this should be a priority over covering curriculum materials or assessments – this is actually something I need to remind myself as I can get too focused on covering the curriculum.
  5. Parents can be your greatest allies.  Don’t alienate them.
  6. Always always always check to see who is in the vicinity to ensure that no kid or parent is listening to your conversation when the conversation involves a student or anything else that might viral into gossip!
  7. Share yourself with the students.  You become more human to them.
  8. Tell stories.  This tends to wake up the snoozing students and, like magic, more students will make eye-contact with you to really listen.
  9. Treat all students with the same respect you’d give an adult.  They tend to give respect back in return and practice it with each other as well.
  10. Watch your language, especially the ones you use routinely.  It’s a guarantee that the students will use those words while they are in your classroom.  So true.  So true.
  11. I’ve always found this to be true.  Really ‘knowing’ your students helps in all areas – relating to them, teaching them, assessing them, disciplining them…
  12. Sometimes you have to pretend that you believe their excuses…
  13. Don’t be despondent if you are not the teacher who reaches that difficult student.  It’s okay if another teacher gets to be that teacher as long as that student has been looked after…

I’m sure there’s more…..

Disclaimer:  These might change in another 11 years…


4 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned So Far In the Classroom

  1. Great list! Another one I would add is…we don’t know what happened yesterday, last night or early this morning when a student comes to school behaving badly, always take that into consideration.

    • Hey Jackie,
      That’s so true! We always need to take into consideration the context…which is also why we shouldn’t judge a student based on one single assessment! 😀
      So good to see you here!!!

  2. I pop in on joy the baker from time to time….: ) We should have some baking sessions next year! I just love lists and your’s is a great one. You’ve gotten me thinking about what I’ve learned too and perhaps may need to put one together myself.

    • Haha we should totally have a baking session!! Am hoping to buy an oven for my new apt…May be after i settle in…
      You should def make a list as well..hee hee
      And isnt joy the baker great? I enjoy her recipes but love her photography and her writing a little more i think…


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