They say, “time flies when you are having fun”. I feel like I have blinked and I am 12 years deep into my teaching career.
Although I will be honest, teaching hasn’t always been rainbows and sunshine. I have had happy times, sad times and times when I have been frustrated out of my mind. Yesterday I was thinking about these not so shiny times (after quite a day in the classroom) and I started to reflect on all the things I have learned over the years. I began to jot them down and this blog post was born.
So, without further ado, here are 12 things I have learned so far during my 12 years of teaching (in no particular order):
1. Pick your battles with your students! Not every little thing is worth fighting for.
2. Paper = clutter. File things that will save you time in the future and bin (recycle) the rest.
3. Reduce, reuse, recycle: you don’t need to create everything from scratch every single time! See what you can repurpose and borrow from colleagues.
4. Listen – you might not agree with everything but everyone has something to offer.
5. Actively seek out shortcuts to save time, steal ideas from your fellow teachers and work smarter not harder.
6. Fads come and go – save your money for YOU!
7. You can’t do it all, look at your to-do list as a wish list and work on it
8. Collaborate to find your teaching tribe. You will be each other’s inspiration, shoulder to cry on and sounding board when other friends just don’t understand.
9. Parents are only advocating for their most precious children, win them over and work as a team.
10. Pack extra snacks, no student can learn when they are hungry (and teachers can’t teach well either).
11. Not every lesson needs to have a bookwork element. Allow students to work online, on mini-whiteboards, in a group, on post-it notes or with manipulatives.
12. Be kind, to your students, to your colleagues and to yourself!
Here is to the next 12 years of teaching and a continuation of my personal growth and learning.
What to read next: