Wednesday, November 13, 2013

H is for Helpful Hints (We are THANKful for Linky Party)

It's another LINKY PARTY at Blog Hoppin'!!

Some HELPFUL HINTs that I have learned over the years:

1. If you can make it then MAKE IT! I am a perfectionist when it comes to my classroom, and if I have an idea, it must turn out EXACTLY the way it is planned in my head. After years and years of this problem, hours spent scouring stores and websites, I realized that sometimes you have to give in, spend the time, and make it. Usually it ends up cheaper and it will match perfectly with what you already have because you can design and build it yourself.

Below is a picture of a kidney table that I actually HAD to make because my school couldn't afford one for me, and the cute little crate chairs, I made this year! I found an awesome website that taught me how to do it (I'm sorry, I can't remember the site).

2. Be PREPARED and arrive EARLY! I think this is important because no one wants to arrive as the students do! You need time to decompress, even if that means sitting at your desk logging onto Facebook, you need those few moments before the kids enter to feel relaxed and ready for the day. Giving yourself 15-20 minutes (I give myself about an hour, but I think most people don't need THAT much time) will help you to get last minute things done to feel really ready for the day!

3. REFLECT This is key to any good teaching! Take the time to write in a journal, write a blog, even write an email to yourself to reflect on the week or lesson. Some people like to meditate or even collaborate with teachers (just don't get caught up in the negative). Maybe you had an awful week and when you reflect you realize what you can do to make the next week better. On the other hand, maybe you had a wonderful, exciting week and you don't want to forget how you did that! And how it made you feel! Reflecting on your day as a teacher will bring new insights! 

4. LABEL things! This will help you to stay organized which is also KEY in having a successful yearn and feeling successful! Just seeing nice, neat labels calms a part of me that feels like my hair is standing on end after dismissal. 

5. COLLABORATE with other teachers. I saved this as my last one because I think it is soooo very important. You can learn so much from other teachers, and perfect your own ideas in the process! It is a great feeling when you are discussing a unit you are putting together, an activity, conversation you need to have with a student or parent, etc and a light goes off in your head mid-sentence of how you just solved your own problem! You also have other teachers that know a lot more than you, and have done this for years who can give you insight on what has worked, and then you can tweak it to be your own. The more teachers you meet whether it's online, at school, or friends from college, you have a someone you can talk to about what best practices and cool ideas you can share!

I wish I had more pictures to post, but I am doing this from home. I hope you can use some of my advice! Have a great school year! Can't wait to go back and read what everyone else had to say!

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