Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin' continues today with Teacher Talk Tuesday: advice for new teachers!  I'm in my third year of teaching, so I'm pretty new myself.  Just warning you not to expect anything terribly profound here... 

Be flexible.  Eleventy million things can (and will) go wrong.  The PE teacher will be out sick.  Someone will throw up.  The interventionist will need to change group times just this once.  You will have three different parents show up with 30 cupcakes each on the same afternoon without checking to see if it was ok (true story).  Just take a deep breath and a swig of your caffeinated beverage of choice and go with it...  It will all work out in the end!

Become BFF with the janitors.  Make your kids pick up trash, wipe the tables, etc...anything to make the janitor's life a little easier.  They notice these things!  They tell me all the time that I have one of the cleanest rooms in the school.  And anytime I need something, they don't hesitate to help me out.  (This may just be because we have the sweetest janitorial staff EVER.  But still...be good to them and they will be good to you!)

Have fun!  I'll never forget...towards the end of my first year, one of my students was dead serious when he looked at me and asked, "Do you even have a job?"  It cracked me up and I took it as a compliment.  He didn't see all the work I put into every single minute of our days together.  He just saw his teacher having fun and making memories.  So find a way to make learning fun.  And take a few minutes to sing a song, do a craft, tell them a joke, let them teach you how to Dougie...  They're kids; fun is their language!   

My biggest advice to anyone, in any situation, at any point in time is this: laugh it off, learn from it, and let it go!  I tell people all the time that I laugh at myself first and foremost...and most often!  You have to find a way to laugh at yourself.  Don't ever take yourself too seriously.  (Now, our jobs are definitely serious business, but there's a difference in taking pride in your awesome work and taking yourself too seriously.)  We all make mistakes every single day and the beauty in that is the opportunity to learn from them and grow.  I don't mind to make a mistake or two (or thirty!) in front of the kids--they need to know that grown ups make mistakes and they need to see how responsible adults handle their slip-ups.  And after my mistakes have been made and I've laughed at myself and let others laugh along, I let it go!  Don't beat yourself up over every.single.little.thing.  Let it go, because it happens to everyone.

...and that's all she wrote.  I can't wait to read all of your awesome advice! 



8 comments:

Mrs. Wristbridge said...

I love that you suggest teaching them the Dougie! I taught my kids the Cupid Shuffle and the "Mrs Wristbridge" Electric Slide (helped us learn slides, flips, and turns). They LOVE dancing and laugh until they're falling on the floor.

I also agree with befriending the janitors. Both of my grandfathers were janitors, so they taught me well. It's sad how messy some people leave their rooms when they leave at night. I always make my students clean up the floors before they leave. I know the janitors appreciate that.

Elise said...

Laugh it off is DEFINITELY a great piece of advice- all of it is!

Lori Faas said...

Caitlin....thanks for visiting my blog! Yours is SO CUTE! Laughing it off and letting it go is so wise. I need to remember to do that more often. I also agree about the janitors (and office/cafeteria staff)!

Have a great start to the school year!

Lori
http://bee-the-change.blogspot.com/

Ms. Preppy said...

The Wristbridge Electric Slide for slides, flips, and turns...how fun, love it!! :)

Theresa said...

Mistakes... to learn from them and grow. Love that saying. Thanks for the advice.

suzy said...

Thanks for the comment... so nice to meet you too... I love the Dougie... penciling it into my plan book right now :)

Nicole Chatz said...

"Do you even have a job?" I love that! It's right up there with my firsties from a few years ago trying to decide if I was a kid or an adult.

Sonya said...

You are so right about the janitors! I've always had them on my side and it's wonderful when you need help with anything!