April 17, 2013

What I've Learned Part 4: Teacher Edition

Today I want to share with you some recent lessons I have learned about being a teacher. But first, let me share these awesome cupcakes that I made for our volunteer luncheon today-- neapolitan cupcakes with a vanilla ice cream frosting!

SO good! I heard nothing but great things about them from my co-workers. I used Courtney's recipe from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life
This wasn't part of my list of things I've learned so at pseudo #1 I'd like to say that volunteers are so necessary and an AMAZING support group in a school. As teachers, we are very lucky to have those who willingly give up their time to come and help out in the classrooms. So, THANK YOU to anyone who volunteers in schools!

Now onto my latest findings...
  1. Make it sound like what you are giving students is basically better than gold and they'll want just about anything you're offering. 
In Title 1 small group can get a bit boring for students because we follow such strict intervention program guidelines. It often leaves little room for creativity. Being that boredom does not sit well with struggling readers, I like to do what I can to change it up. For instance, telling 2nd grade boys they can do their routine sound sort assignment with my personal, special glitter crayons was basically Christmas morning. And yes you heard me right...boys!

  1. Don't accidentally put permanent markers in the dry erase marker tub. 
It will cause mass confusion with your 1st graders, and your painstakingly laminated activities will hate you...
  1. We all know a colorful classroom environment is friendly and inviting, but colored erasers are more of a distraction than they are a useful tool.
Even with 4th grade boys whom you might assume could care less if you got new erasers. Again, you would've thought it was Christmas morning the day I replaced the them. Of course two are already "lost" and we all want to use the green one.
  1. Using a dramatic voice to ask "Who wants to hold The Cat in the Hat while we read?!" works every time. 
Well, with 1st graders. They're always excited over the smallest things which I love. If you offer up a reading buddy I promise you that even the 5 year old boy who goes home and plays Halo every night (yes, that's a real thing...) will be all eyes and ears, criss-cross applesauce, itching for a turn!
  1. Teaching is my passion. 
This isn't necessarily something I'm just now learning, but I am learning why it means so much to me and how I grow as a teacher every. single. day. Kids challenge me, teach me, learn from me, need me, love me, and even dislike me. There are certainly moments when I question my passion. There are days I feel like I should've given them more; there are days I feel like they should've given me more. But those kids, my kids! They fill my heart with so much happiness. There's not a day that goes by when they don't put a smile on my face. At the end of the day, good or bad, I know I am where I am meant to be. I'm doing what I've been called to do. They need me and I need them. I wouldn't have it any other way!

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