Thursday, March 17, 2005

Things I Have Learned So Far

4/5 NOTE: This started as a twelve item list, but I realized I wanted to add to it as I went...

1. I remember what it was like to look forward to Fridays.
2. Water bottles are great. Chalk dust is not.
3. Sometimes structure is a good thing.
4. Learn how to say "no."
5. Even if you only had five hours of sleep, the adreneline will carry you through.
6. Don't take things so personally. They just don't like school.
7. Time in class to work is a precarious thing.
8. Reading for pleasure is still possible.
9. Being organized is a good thing. Keeping keys is too. (As is having keys...)
10. When in doubt, have an overhead.
11. Overplan.
12. Modeling puts them on (or near) the path to comprehension.
13. Tell them to be specific. Even if it seems obvious.
14. Maybe drill instructors know something we don't. Returning to things that you really want them to remember might be the only way.
15. I love photocopy machines. However, they don't love me. Neither does Amanda. Try to plan handouts in advance so they can actually be sent out.
16. Cut off times with your availability for after school.
17. They'll ask you how many points it's worth. Be approximate but not specific.
18. Open note final tests will prevent you from having to police some forms of cheating.
19. Make a guide to how you'll grade.
20. Remember small details--birthdays, sports participation, events, etc.
21. Your first unit won't be perfect. That's OK. You can use what you learned from this one to plan the next.
22. ORGANIZE. Binders, sheet protectors, thematic tabs...
23. Talking and writing are a serious skill.
24. You might think getting up in front of all those faces is the worst part. Just wait.
25. One day at a time. Some are good, some are not as good. Remember the good ones.
26. Parents want to know about what they can do to help their kids. They also want to know what they can expect the teacher is doing to help their own kids.
27. On a related note, my goal is to contact each parent at some point. The good kids deserve their parents to know that as much as the struggling ones.
28. Beg, borrow and steal. Oh wait, I knew that one already. :)
29. Watch out for those overhead cords.

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