Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ten Tips

poster... that might help if you're a newbie kindergarten teacher. Well, *any* grade teacher I suppose, but these have worked out specifically for me during the past decade-plus, so I'll keep this advice in the early childhood education realm for now.

* Gaining experience is a gradual process, so it will take some time to develop your own consistent voice. As you develop it, don't forget to hear and listen to others'. Their ideas and interpretations can help you find ways to enjoy your job or rethink a problem to find a solution.

* You don't know it all, so ASK questions.

* Pendulums swing far and wide in the world of public education, never really coming to rest in the middle. It's up to you to find the best middle ground, get a good foothold, and remain flexible (sign up for a Pilates or yoga class now...a climbing class wouldn't hurt either).

* Learn something new and add it to your repertoire if it will benefit your students, but avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

* Understand that dictating, bribing, and threatening are NOT the same as teaching, guiding, and facilitating.

* You are partners in education with parents of students and colleagues, even if THEY don't think so. Behave accordingly.

* You're going to meet a lot of diverse, colorful, entertaining, strange, even dangerous people. Understand that if evil can manifest itself in any shape or form, so can good.

* Your students should enjoy school and learning because of you, not in spite of you.

* Learn discretion and exercise it. There will be MANY moments with colleagues, administrators, parents and students that will work out for the best if you think it, don't say it.

* Finally (and this is the ultimate in "inside-scoopness"), don't do cut-and-paste activities the day before Picture Day. Really.

{The number poster can be found here}

Happy New Year!

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As always, thank you for your comments, tips, suggestions and questions!