Monday, July 22, 2013

{10} Things I've Learned

I read Hadar's post of 10 things she's learned from teaching and thought, hmm...well, what HAVE I learned?! I know there has been ton, but what stands out the most to me and what's worth sharing?!

1. DON"T EAT THE SNACKS! Seriously, just don't do it. My pre-k kiddos eat snack, and this year, had breakfast, lunch, and snack in the classroom. Thanks to starting clean eating I was able to stop eating all the snacks! None of it's clean, imagine that, right? It's a surefire way to pack on a few extra lbs. Every extra mini pancake and chicken nugget counts!

2. DON"T EAT THE REINFORCEMENT! One for you, one for me, is NOT the way to go. Along with that, don't buy things that you LOVE to give out. [i.e. jelly beans, candy corn, skittles- I think I ate more than I gave out!} 

3. DON"T LET THEM GET BORED! Big no, no, especially with the little ones. Boredom leads to behaviors. Save yourself the time and energy. Pay attention to their interests. If they stop playing with the materials in a center, CHANGE THEM! Don't always keep your centers the same. This will be crucial to your classroom management whether you realize it or not.

4. TIME. Either decide to get there early, or stay later. My first year teaching I was either the 1st or 2nd person there and usually the last to leave. I should have just moved in. As the years have gone on, I now get there about 30-15 min before the students do. {30 on a good day, 10 on a not so good day} and then commit to just staying til 4-4:30, unless I have something big to work on like an IEP.

5. COLLABORATE & SHARE. Don't stay in your room, reach out! Find a few teachers in your grade level, or maybe just at least one if your team is small, who you can collaborate with and exchange ideas. Make sure it's a give & take. Don't let a teacher take advantage of your willingness to share if they aren't going to share back. That might sound harsh, but we all put in a lot of hard work and a lot of our own time. I don't mind sharing, in fact, I LOVE to, but I don't someone to "mooch" off of me either.

6. BE ORGANIZED. Like I really needed to point that out. I am pretty organized, but I've learned that classroom organization takes time and adjustment and that's okay. Every year I am purging files, or creating new binders to find the best way to organize my files and keep them handy. 

7. TIME FILLERS. No matter how well you plan you may find yourself with a few minutes here and there to fill up. I have several activities that I keep on hand near our carpet area. These are great if we are waiting for our SLP to come in, but have a few minutes to spare. Waiting to line up? "hands on your head, hands on your feet, hands on your hips" works like a charm! 

8. PRAISE AROUND. I love this technique. Have 1 student not doing what they are supposed to be doing? Or maybe 4 or 5? Start praising the ones who are doing what they should be. Usually those not following directions will catch on because they want to be recognized too. Give high fives, stickers, a goldfish, etc. For me this also helps to balance out for the students who may have a behavior plan that requires them to receive more frequent reinforcement. If other students get them every now and then too, they are less likely to "complain" about it "being unfair"
9. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS. Don't ask a yes or no question if you don't want a yes or no answer. I'm so guilty of this and just want to face palm myself every.time. it happens!

10. MOMMY. You're going to be called Mommy. You can't avoid that, or change it, it happens.

What are some of the things you have learned? These are lessons I've learned to apply to my teaching. Things I may have known about before, but once I was on my own, I really knew how important they were!

Link up your lessons learned with Miss Kindergarten! And check out all the other link ups!


Miss Kindergarten said...

Hhaha that ecard!!! Love it! And loved learning more about you Erin! Thanks for linking up:)

Lyndsey (A Year of Many Firsts) said...

Loved reading this!!! You are hilarious!!!

Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep! said...

All of your 10 things are so true! Found your blog through the linky and pleased to be your newest follower. :)

Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

Stacy said...

This was great! I love the part about not eating the snacks because it's SO true.

Jess said...

I wanna do a face palm every time I ask a yes/no question that I didn't really want to be...then I have to ask it all over again! I love the part about not eating the reinforcement...I'm sitting there snacking away on a skittle, reese pieces, a kiss, or jelly beans. I really just don't need them in the classroom at all! I am going to link up with this tomorrow!
Rambling About Reading

kinder-gardening said...

This is definitely the funniest list I've read so far! Love #1 and #2!!!!! SOOOOO true! I'm a new follower!

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