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- Teaching With Minecraft EDU - April 3, 2019
- Self-Care Is Priority One for This Teacher - February 13, 2019
- Preparing Students For Teacher Absences - February 12, 2019
- Respect in the Classroom: Earned, Not Expected - February 11, 2019
- Dissing the Family Crazies: A Christmas Story - January 6, 2019
- Band-Aiding The Mental Health of Our Children - November 23, 2018
- We Must Love Them - November 5, 2018
- Take One For the Team: The Need for Self-Care - August 19, 2018
- The New Teacher Smell - August 19, 2018
I ran into my first grade teacher the other day while shopping. I knew that she had gone on to be a counselor, then retired a few years ago, after 30+ years of service. I would love to be able to say I told her what an amazing impact she has had on my teaching, and that wouldn’t be completely wrong, except probably not in the way she would like to be remembered. So I just continued with small chit-chat, a smile plastered on my face.
You see this teacher DID impact me. She was awful: mean, quick-tempered and unpredictable. Even as first graders, I remember students at recess saying that she was a witch when she wasn’t at school.
After we went our separate ways, I couldn’t help but think how many other classes of students she had impacted in a negative way, then how many students she had harmed as a counselor. The power we have as teachers should never be taken lightly.
As I walked through the store finishing the rest of my shopping, I began compiling a ‘top ten list’ of ways I hope to impact my students:
10. “You are an important piece of the puzzle.” I always want my students to know, and BELIEVE, that they have gifts and talents to use to make this world a better place.
9. “Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy.” I continually try to instill in my students that everyone has something to contribute and it takes ALL of us to make a difference.
8. “Dream big and never stop.” The world steals too many dreams. Dreams need to be protected, cherished and appreciated.
7. “Nothing replaces hard work.” I tell my students that ‘nothing is worth doing if it isn’t done right.’ Don’t cut corners. Do an honest day’s work and work hard.
6. “Be responsible.” It’s way too easy for students to get in the habit of ‘passing the buck’ or blaming others for problems that they should own. There is no room for negativity. Be honest, take responsibility and move forward.
5. “Be kind.” There is no need to be mean or cruel. It takes as much energy to be nice as it does to be mean and there is usually a much better outcome.
4. “Change your perspective.” Problem-solve, problem-solve, problem-solve! Don’t give up just because you weren’t successful the first time. Breathe, blink and change your perspective. There is more than one way to skin the cat.
3. “Always love learning.” Learning goes on forever, it doesn’t stop when school ends. Always appreciate a good lesson and be able to apply it to your life.
2. “Ask questions.” No one can do everything by themselves. We need each other. We need the gifts and talents of one another. Asking questions allows us to keep learning, to depend on one another and to streamline our energy.
1. “Respect property, others and yourself.” Everything begins with respect. If we show respect to others and they show respect to us, everything fits together much better. Just because my students are young doesn’t mean they aren’t deserving of respect. They have a voice too.
I hope that if a student runs into me thirty years down the road, they are able to share with me that I had a positive impact on them during our time together. I never want to be “THAT teacher.”