Friday, August 16, 2013

Teacher Week '13- Tips and Tricks

WOO HOO.... TGIF! What a week and honestly ,I must say, this week has been amazing! I have loved linking up with Blog Hoppin' and all of these amazing teacher bloggers.  This week has really built up my confidence as I step out into the blogging world. So, thank you to all of you that have left sweet comments, followed my blog or have even just stopped by! Now let's get this Friday rollin'...

Since I have only been teaching for 3 years I am not sure how many "Tips and Tricks" I really have to share (or have left to share because they may be in a previous post). However, I can try to give you an idea of what I have learned in my first 3 years of teaching. To make sure that I do not blab on and on and on, I have created a list of the top 10 things I have learned, so far.  Here it is...

The Top 10 things I have learned my first 3 years of Teaching

#1- In moments of chaos remember to find the good. I have quickly learned that Teachers 'to-do' lists are never-ending. Many times I have found myself overwhelmed, frustrated and on the brink of tears wondering why I chose such a crazy profession.  Just before I throw in the towel, I remember a small smile from the school day. A small smile that came from one of my students who just learned to tie their shoe, recognized a number as even or odd or was just simply happy to see me. These are the little moments that keep me sane and make the chaos seem worth it. So, when you are in that moment of losing it all remember to take a step back and look at all the good. 

Sorry...didn't mean to get so on a lighter note!

#2- Hand Sanitizer is AMAZING! I honestly don't know what I would do without hand sanitizer.  With the amount of sneezing, coughing, picking, licking, and flicking that goes on in my room I am thankful I have a dispenser mounted to my classroom wall. If you don't have one mounted to your wall...get some and place it in stations in your room. It has eliminated the opportunity for my kiddos to find an excuse to go to the bathroom, yet again, because they sneezed or have marker on their hands. 

#3- Caffeine, Caffeine, Caffeine....  Ahhhhh....without it how would we ever pull off the daily miracles of children walking down a hall quietly or spelling their first and last name! I will never forget my very first day in First Grade and seeing all of the veteran teachers strategically placing their Diet Cokes, Dr. Peppers and Mountain Dews on their desks and thinking 'Hmm...I wonder why they are so worried about where their pop is located?'. Well, let's just say that by lunch time that day I was running for the nearest pop machine to get my daily boost of energy! I love these little ones, but holy cow can they wear you out! 

#4- It's okay for your students to know you are human.   For me, when I thought back to my grade school days I always seemed to remember my teachers never being sick, having all the answers and always knowing when you weren't doing what you were supposed to be doing (no matter how sneaky you were trying to be). They honestly seemed like superheros! Now, teaching does take a special person, but we are definitely not superheros. I realized my students were thinking the same thing when they first noticed me making a mistake in math ( I have dyscalculia where I flip numbers and math processes around). After hearing the gasps and quiet whispers, and feeling slightly embarrassed, I realized I had 2 choices: 
1) I could get mad at them because they had made me feel insecure or 
2) I could explain to them that I struggle with math, like some people will, and that instead of making a big deal about mistakes you need to be kind and help that person out.  

Clearly, I went with option number 2 and found that my students had an easier time asking me for help when they needed it. So, it's okay to not have it together all of the time, your students will still love you! 

#5- Sing silly songs- I LOVE singing with my kids! They think I am insane (which I may be), but it is so much fun! I sing songs for brain breaks, during indoor recess or even when we are waiting for the dismissal bell to ring. It's okay to be silly no matter how old you are! 

#6- Tell your students how smart they are. This is one of the biggest things I have learned so far. Many times when my students make mistakes they immediately begin to think less of themselves and they stop taking chances. To keep my class growing and trying I constantly tell them how smart they are! Making kids feel like  rock-stars in front of their peers or as a whole group can change the energy in your classroom immediately.  

#7- Go with the flow- We all know that things have a tendency to not always as planned , especially when you are working with kids. When things don't go as planned, DO NOT PANIC, go with it! Some of my best lessons have come from "going with the flow". Whether its construction outside your classroom window, a power outage or a loud thunderstorm rolling through town...go with it!  If you are calm your students will be calm. I promise, sometimes when you wander off the "plan" you discover more than you could have ever imagined. 

#8 Embrace your inner child- Use your imagination! Remember the days where you would be a princess trapped high in a tower (or at the top of the highest slide on the playground) screaming for your prince charming to come save you ( or the boy eating dirt at the bottom of the slide to come play). This is where the fun happens. Get on your kiddos level and color with them! This is what makes teaching little one's fun, they are able to build their creativity when they have someone to share it with. 

#9- You will always be learning.  I will be the first to admit that I an nowhere near being perfect, and I am okay with that.  I find joy in knowing that no matter how long I stay in education I will never be able to say that "I am the perfect teacher". There is always going to be room to grow and get better and I love that! Knowing that I will always have to push myself, set new goals or learn something new is exhilarating.  I know that I will never be bored with my job because it has become too easy, and I can't wait to see where it takes me. 

#10- HAVE FUN!!- Too often teachers are pushed to their limits with the expectations in the world of education. Sometimes, in this crazy world of molding young minds, it is easy to forget that we are working with little one's and learning can be fun! I know that I have been told to use "research based games" and "test prep booklets" to make sure my students are prepared, but that can become tedious for both the teacher and students. This is where you can get those creative juices flowing and come up with a fun song, dance, video or game to spice these things up a little. It is okay to have fun while you learn! You will enjoy it and your students will still learn and remember the material! 

Well folks, there ya have it! My top 10 things I have learned so far in my 3 years of teaching. I hope you enjoyed my list and that you find something you can take with you! Have a STUPENDOUS Friday and weekend. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the world around you! 

Thanks for stoppin' by! 

1 comment:

  1. Smart Apps for Kids just released their TOP 42 lists of apps for various users...check it out:
    Love your blog! Most of these are free, good luck,