Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching

So I had told myself just yesterday I was going on a diet. Not a real diet (although after Vegas its not a bad idea)..... but a linky diet. I love linky parties {too much!!} but  I have all these other ideas I want to share, so I said I would be linky-free for a while. You know how that goes...when you say no more brownies, but then somehow a brownie finds its way into your hands the next day. Same thing here... because I HAVE TO be part of this linky...
A. I {heart} Miss Kindergarten
B. I love this linky

So here we go...10 Things I've learned from teaching hosted by the lovely Miss Kindergarten. Warning: She said "the funnier, the better" but I have a feeling I may be sneaking in some serious ones too.

1. It's Okay to say, "I don't know." 

I don't know everything and I think it is okay to say so in certain situations. I think when I started teaching I was so worried about being this all knowing being in their eyes. Don't get me wrong, you need to exude confidence and knowledge most of the time...but I think it is good to show them you are human.

2. Music is the key.

I would always say I wish I lived my entire life to a soundtrack like in the movies...for example: The opening scene of Definitely, Maybe with Ryan Reynolds {LOVE that movie}  Even as I am grabbing some cereal in the market or watering plants... or doing anything... I wish I had a soundtrack that was always choosing appropriate tunes.  It makes life happier...or scarier.... or more sad....but life is amplified with music. And I believe music in the classroom is the same... it can be powerful. I actually have a blog post coming soon all about music.

3. Our bodies are made to move!

This ties in with #2 but our bodies are made to move, jump, run and be active... not just when we are in elementary school... all the time. These office jobs and life styles of the modern person lead to a lot of sitting still...but all of us need to get that blood pumping and move! I am not even talking about exercise... I mean that is under the same umbrella here, but it's a whole different conversation. The longer I have taught the more and more I see the importance of movement. I try to get my kiddos up and active as much as possible.

4. Make fun of yourself!

If you don't...someone else will. I think in my first few years of teaching that I took myself way too seriously. I guess as you are learning you are nervous about messing up and you want to do well...right? Now as I am approaching year 15 I am okay with laughing at myself......oh, and there is plenty to laugh at.

5. Walk Away.... It will be there tomorrow!

Does this happen to you?  Every time I am about to grab my keys to go home I find another project or thing I "must" do.  Stop it! I have learned this, but still need help implementing it. Just leave, go home - it will be waiting for you tomorrow! And these aren't things I need to teach the next day - it's always all those other random things that just accumulate or at 4:00pm I decide to reorganize my classroom library. Stop it!!

6. It takes a village.

You are not an island ...even though it can feel that way being in your classroom alone most of the day. Be sure to thank the custodian and office and all the others at your school who help. You couldn't do it without them. Same thing about the other teachers... help each other, work together. Sometimes I feel people think this is a competition - uh, no...we all have the same goal here let's do it together!

7. Get your hair done

Here's my funny one Miss Kindergarten... but seriously... get your hair done, have cute clothes and feel good about yourself. Why does this make my top 10? Because:
A. The kids may not know the difference between a "w" or an "m" but they notice when I am rocking the no make-up, I just rolled out of bed look...it isn't pretty {at this time I remember Rule #4 above} I have had them ask me, "What is wrong with you today?"
B. I believe when you feel good about you then you are happier and it will rub off on the little guys.
It isn't a fashion show, but I do think there is something to be said for this.... and Sidenote: This is another one that I know... but don't always DO!

8. Sleep

If I have slept a full night's sleep I am more likely to say, "Oh sweetie, remember we have to roll the glue stick down before putting the lid on. Let me show you." If I was up on Pinterest all night and went to bed at 3:00am it may sound more like, "How many times have I gone over how to roll down a glue stick?" So you see... sleep is good...or at least don't skip your morning coffee.  It isn't their fault I'm a pin-a-holic!

9. Find the good in every child

OK so let's be real... there is always one ...or more friends who I call the "usual suspects" ...who really give you a run for your money. It's like they learn how to push your buttons and have done extensive research on what makes you tick! How do they do that? I have TRIED to always find the endearing and good in them. Not just surface characteristics, but I take the time to put myself in their shoes - what is their home life all about? What makes them act like they do? I honestly feel that this insight helps me to build a relationship of respect and helps both the child and me {and the parents.}

10. Change is good!

People like the same thing...even me. I have two orders I get at Starbucks... that is all. I eat the same Weight Watchers frozen lunch several times a week {just ask any teacher at my school and they know the Chicken Enchilada Suiza is mine} but I try to change it up in my class. If you deliver the same lesson in the same way every year you get stale... you may not realize it, but you do.

Don't get me wrong... I use last year's plan book to guide my planning {but not just write in the same thing...it's a jumping off point!} AND I have my favorites that I do every year because they are near and dear to my heart. But other stuff I CHANGE! Plus, you learn about yourself when you change!!

Change can be scary... but it is okay. A while ago I went from first grade to fifth grade. What?!?! I was so nervous I can't even tell you!! And the short ending is I LOVED 5th grade and stayed for four years. And now I am back in kinder and one day {not yet I hope} I want to move again.

I know we are supposed to have 10...well I sometimes break the rules (That could be on this list too!)
but #11 is short and sweet.

Smile, relax and enjoy! We have a great job as teachers...don't let the other things get in the way of why you are in this profession.

Link up with Miss Kindergarten too! And if you don't have a blog I would LOVE for you to share some things you have learned in the comments below!!


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE Get Your Hair Done. I TOTALLY AGREE, plus I agree with SLEEP.
    :) I love the fact that you tried to go on a linky diet. That cracks me up.

    1. I'm the worst at diets... glad I crack you you..because you crack me up too!

  2. #7 and #8!!! bahahah!!! I had a student ask me if I was wearing a wig one time because he could "see the black"...LOL {thank you for adding funny ones :)}

    I'm glad you broke your diet, just for today :) Love you!!!

    1. Love you too! I hate when the kids call you out on how bad you look... because we know... they call it like it is. :)

  3. I really enjoyed reading this!

  4. Wonderful! Anyone who can keep me laughing has me hooked! I look forward to your posts! Thank you!

    1. You always write the sweetest notes! Thank you! It is nice to know people are reading... and enjoying! I appreciate it a lot!!!!