Monday, July 22, 2013

10 Things I've Learned From Teaching

It only makes sense for blog posts at this time of the year are either about back to school shopping/crafting or teaching advice, which is exactly what I have been blogging about recently. Today, I'm linky up with Miss Kindergarten to share 10 things I've learned from teaching!

1. Always starts your day with a smile and greet the students at the door when they enter. This helps develop a relationship with your students and also shows the parents that you care. 

2. Routines, routines, routines! Children (and adults) NEED structure! As long as there's a routine and procedure for everything in the classroom, the class will run smoothly, even with a substitute!

3. Give students responsibilities! We are not just teaching them academics, we are also preparing them for success in life! That includes learning how to be responsible. Make sure to hold the kids to it too! Remind them often of their responsibilities as a learner in the classroom! During the first month of school at least one student will come up and tell me that their parent forgot their homework folder. After a couple of reminders about whose homework folder it is and whose responsibility it is to make sure it is packed away, I never hear it again!

4. Sometimes a quick dance break is necessary! When you see that your students have been overworking their brains and are getting a little restless, turn on some music and let them just wiggle it out! Make sure you wiggle it out too!

5. This is mainly for the younger grades (I think) - understand that some parents are first time parents. Just as you are learning to be a teacher, they are also learning to be parents. So when they are questioning your teaching or management style, they aren't necessarily questioning you, but is really trying to find a balance with their child's home and school life. On the other hand...

6. Realize that for some students, what you do in school is not always transferred at home. There might not be a lot of structure or parental involvement at home. And in most cases, there is nothing you can do about it. So it is important that you create a safe and structured environment for your students in the classroom for them to thrive in. 

7. Children are so forgiving and love their teacher no matter what! A student can never stay mad at their teacher for long. In fact, children love their teacher so much, they may unknowingly call you mom or dad! I still remember the first time I was called mom by a student. We all had a good laugh.

8. Integrate the arts! I think childhood is really the time when EVERYONE has artistic ability. (Hey, I won third place in an drawing competition when I was a kid. Now, I can only draw stick figures.) Utilize it! Expose kids to different artists and styles of art. Include some sort of space for a craft or artwork to go along with writing. Give students as many opportunities to create art as you can! Make sure to include a field trip to an art museum to teach them how to appreciate art. 

9. Music is SO important in education! Classical music helps stimulate the brain or as I tell my students, helps turn your brain on so that you can really think. I loved the day when a student came up to me while the class was working on a writing assignment and asked me if I could put some classical music on so that it could help her brain think more. Create and sing songs! Songs will help kids remember things faster and store it in their long-term memory. This year, I will be part of the SF Opera program where my class will be creating a short Aria to perform to their parents. I'm pretty excited about it because we get to create music! I can't wait!

10. Always end your day be dismissing your students at the door with a "Have a great day!" or "Have a wonderful weekend!" As a first grade teacher for two years, I also would always ask the student where they are going so we both know where they will be in case an adult comes looking once the classroom is empty. If students don't know, they stay in the classroom until someone comes and gets them. Saying goodbye continues building the relationship with your student and asking them where they are going shows parents that you care about their safety even when school is over. 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to link up too! I can't wait to read what others have to share! :)

Also, check out this giveaway that The Teaching Tribune is hosting! Freebies included too! :)


  1. You have so many good ideas! These are great reminders for veteran teachers too! :)

  2. I agree with you #4 {dance break}. I have been known to shake it a few times.


  3. I love your choices! I agree that it's super important to greet and say goodbye to your kids each day...we can all get busy but it's that little time that makes a big difference. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Sliding Into Second Grade