Be the change, new year, reflection

What I Wish I had Known My First Year

Another school year is about to start and I am bursting at the seam with new ideas for better learning in my room.  I look back on the two short years I have taught and think of how far I have come already, imagining what I will look back upon in 20 years.  I see success and I see failures and it leads me to think of what I would have done differently had I known what I know now.

  • I would have questioned grades sooner rather than working so hard on averages only to change my mind come report card time.
  • I would have learn to reach out faster to co-workers and particularly veteran teachers that could have steered me in the right direction many times.
  • I would have given up the notion that I must know what I am doing at all times.
  • I would have given up on the teacher lectures and let the students talk more.
  • I would have embraced the noise more rather than futively signaling for quiet – who learns in total silence anyway?
  • I would have pulled down the awesome board and declared all of my students to be awesome each and every day.
  • I would have realized that it is ok to feel overwhelmed and it is ok to not take a huge pile of work home with me once in a while.
  • I would have realized that great learning doesn’t always come from all worksheets or even written work.
  • I would have let students work on enrichment if they had mastered a concept, why beat them over the head with it?
  • I would have given myself a holiday from being perfect.
I would NOT have changed:
  • The incredible passion I feel for my job every day
  • The deep love of my students and their whole being
  • The way I connect with students through sharing our lives together
  • The ability to try new ideas and also know when they suck
  • The reflecting over my failures (but I would have let go of the useless beating up of myself over them)
  • The amazing feeling of responsibility and awe I have over being placed in charge of kids
  • The belief that i can change the world through these kids
  • The love, the love, the love
Happy first days to everyone

4 thoughts on “What I Wish I had Known My First Year”

  1. Lovely post. Hard to believe that you have only taught two years. Such insight so early in your teaching career is quite amazing. Sharing your reflections is a gift to the rest of us. Thanks!

  2. I remember my first couple of years, especially my student teacher time. I felt so totally unprepared. I agree that you have to find your teaching style and go with it.

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