Welcome to my newest blog series Lessons Learned. I plan to document all the little lessons that have made the biggest difference in my teaching life. To start, I wanted to pay notice to the lessons that I learned from one of my associate teachers when I was still finishing up my university degrees.
Single, 30, and an avid world traveller, my favourite associate teacher was an inspiration to the teacher I wanted to become and I aspired to be. Not only did she live a travel-full life that I could only dream of, her teaching style was also something I admired and wished my own would one day be similar.
My associate teacher gave me some of the best teaching advice I have ever received during my placement with her. She taught me things that university never would have been able to give me or prepare me for. I have continued to carry her lessons with me through my years of teaching thus far, so to start off this new series, I wanted to pay tribute to this wonderful teacher, who taught me about the realities of the teaching world and how to deal with it all.
Look After #1
Above all, this piece of advice is probably the most important. You need to take care of yourself first before you can look after your students. If this means you hit up the gym over marking a stack of papers, go do it! Do what makes you feel good, recharge your batteries, and look after regenerating your mind, body and spirit so you can be fit to mould the minds of others.
All You Can Give Is Your Best
You will not be able to help everyone, it’s impossible. I’m talking not only academically, but socially as well. You are not going to be able to turn every student around and make them a straight-A prodigy. However, you can give it your all and just do your very best to make sure they get the tools they need in order to become successful. It is important not to take things personally as well, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Above all though, give students as much love as you can – you never know what battles they are fighting behind the scenes.
When They Work, You Work
When my students are working on assigned tasks in class, I make my rounds through the room to make sure everyone is focused and to answer any questions. When there is downtime though, I work too. I cut out my laminating, I update my daily lesson plans, I file away assessments. I always make sure I have a daily to-do list for these moments in order to utilize my spare time accordingly, because in doing so, this means more me time at home. How else are teachers to have some sort of life outside of school hours?!
Remember That You are Teaching Someone’s Baby
Sometimes we get frustrated with the students we teach. Sometimes we take it out on a student by accident. Sometimes a student can really get on your very last nerve. It’s hard, BUT it is always important to remember that they are somebody’s child. The individual children you teach belong to someone. They are someone’s pride and joy and you have them in your possession for 5 days of the week – they see more of you than they do of their own parents, so be mindful!