Thursday, June 9, 2011

What my students taught me...

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I will be leaving the classroom and continuing my career in education as an assistant principal. I am excited about this transition and I look forward to continuing my growth as an Educator. As you might also know, I firmly believe in the practice of daily reflection, and as such I will draw upon my experiences as a classroom teacher to aid in the transition toward my first principalship. Here are 10 very important lessons I have learned from my awesome and amazing students:

1) - When you think you have a student figured out and you know exactly how to deal with him/her, they will surprise you and make you question how you ever thought you had them figured out.

2) - The more you try to control your students the less control you actually have. Empowering and giving autonomy are far more effective than a totalitarian approach.
3) - Building and establishing strong relationships with your students is absolutely ESSENTIAL if you truly want to positively affect their lives and have an everlasting impact.

4) - If a student treats you like dirt and says something completely unimaginable, you have to remember they most likely really don't mean it on a personal level. There are so many influences in a child's life, and to take everything they say or do personally would be a mistake; keep things in perspective.

5) - Education has very little to do with me, and has everything to do with our students. The focus should not solely be on what I am doing, but rather it should be on what I am doing and how it is affecting our students.

6) - As Educators, we will have good days and bad days. Don't ignore the bad days, but don't dwell on them either. When you have a great day it is important to recognize it, but don't think one great day will last forever. We need to prove ourselves day in and day out.

7) - That small little conversation that didn't mean much to you meant the world to a student. Don't ever forget this!

8) - You are always being watched and evaluated. Nothing you do will ever go unnoticed. Be the positive role-model and example you wish to see in your students.

9) - Students don't want to be told what to do all the time, but they do want to be guided and pulled in the right direction. Great Educators are able to walk the fine line between giving too much, and not giving enough.

10) - Sometimes you just need to take a step back and laugh about what just happened. Not everything needs to be so serious and intense all the time; make time to have fun and "keep it real."