Everything I Need to Know About Teaching, I Learned From 2nd Grade
- Grades: 1–2
As I enjoy the relaxing sounds of Christmas music, a crackling fire in the fireplace, and the view of a twinkling Christmas tree, I am thankful that I have a wonderful job that I love and the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you here on the Classroom Solutions blog. This week, I'm making a short list of New Year's resolutions and reflecting back on my experiences, and I'm pleased to be able to share my reflections with you.
Everything I Need to Know About Teaching, I Learned in 2nd Grade
Be a friend. Be kind and respectful to others, even if you don't get along with them. Treat them as you would want to be treated.
Apologize. If you hurt someone, apologize. Whether you say a harsh word in frustration or make a mistake, apologize. Taking that moment to be sorry matters.
Try. Then try again. If it's something you really want to learn or make work, don't give up. If it's not working, set it aside, ask someone else to look at it with fresh eyes, try a new strategy or different method, but don't give up.
Be responsible. Take responsibility for your actions. Be professional. Do what you are supposed to do. People are counting on you!
Be Brave. Try something new and exciting even if you think it might not go smoothly. Try a lesson that you observed; try a lesson you read about. Get out of your comfort zone! You never know what new adventure awaits you if you don't take the first step.
Avoid bad influences. There's usually one or two troublemakers on every staff. Their heart is no longer in teaching. They are the ones who are late to work, don't care about their duties, or are inconsiderate to others. Distance yourself from them.
Build relationships. Be accessible. So many times, teachers close themselves off by eating in their classrooms, working through lunch, and not taking time to relax and socialize. Make the effort to sit with others at lunch, invite someone to go out to lunch, visit other teachers' classrooms, and compliment others. Try asking to plan with a fellow grade level member. Building relationships with people takes effort, but these are the people you spend almost a third of your life with. Get to know them. Surround yourself with people you like and admire. Choose to follow their examples.
Ask for help. Sometimes we need someone to help us solve a problem, make a suggestion, give us a shoulder to cry on, or lend a hand moving some furniture. Ask, and ask nicely.
Be yourself. If you are artsy and creative, don't be afraid to bring that into your classroom. If others need help making something more artsy, lend a hand or make a suggestion. If you are organized and efficient, bring that to your classroom, and help others with it if they ask you. This is one of the joys of teaching.
Choose to learn. I tell my kids that learning is a choice. Just because you come to school and sit at your desk, doesn't mean you are choosing to learn. Learning involves making an effort to listen, practice, and grow. Choose one area at school each year to improve upon. Go to a conference, read professional development books, do some action research, join a professional organization. Choose something unrelated to school to learn, as well. We want our kids to be life long learners: we should lead by example.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!