Monday, October 29, 2018

Lessons I Wish I Learned Earlier

As a teacher of many years, there are a number of lessons I wish I learned earlier in my career--lessons that I believe help teachers to teach and collaborate well. As a supervising teacher with a talented student teacher, these lessons have come to mind:
  • Your supervisor, boss, or administrator is not your friend--it's important to establish respectful professional relationships with those that direct and lead your work
  • You have a right to work without insult, inappropriate behavior, or ridicule, if you face that kind of behavior, you have to kindly and respectfully speak up
  • Be prepared--plan and prep ahead to stay ready to teach well for your students and colleagues
  • Use professional speak and respect at all times
  • Always speak or write in ways that you are comfortable with all people hearing and knowing about
  • Do more than expected, yet be reasonable with yourself and your expectations
  • Advocate with evidence, respect, and good purpose for what you believe to be good pedagogy, resources, and change
  • Continually learn and enrich your professional repertoire
  • Reach out beyond your school to learn with others in different and beneficial ways
  • Get to the top of the pay scale as soon as possible with extra study and credentials--having a good salary matters to doing good work
  • Join your local, state, and national unions because unions protect teacher voice and choice which allows us to do our work better
  • Work with colleagues to teach well and make promising change
  • Have a personal  life and as much as possible keep that personal life separate from your professional life--we all need time and space to relax with those we love, and we also need time to engage in the activities that bring us joy and happiness.
  • Do your best everyday
  • Face your challenges and work on your own and with good supports to make better
  • Be positive as much as possible
  • See the promise in problems
  • Believe in the potential your students hold for their own lives and the lives of others--support your students and their families in every way possible
  • Establish positive routines, stick to them, and reflect and revise as needed
I'm sure I'll think of more important lessons to add to this list, and I know it's important to impart rules of the teaching/learning role to student teachers as they embark on their professional careers aimed at teaching children well and building dynamic learning communities.  Onward.