Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching

24 March 2011
Jennifer at Rowdy in First is hosting a "Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching" link party. 

I have been teaching for 10 years and I think I have learned at least 10 things!
1.  Laminating is therapeutic and thrilling at the same time. 
2.  Laminate things yourself or pay to have it laminated.  The school laminating always peels and then you just have to re-do it anyway.  I own two laminators - one for school and one for home.  Yes, I really love laminating.
2.  When a kids starts crying and says "I don't feel well," get out of the way fast.  He/she is about to puke.  (One of my aides learned this the hard way this year!)
3.  The parents you need to read the classroom news or at home help letters never do. 
4.  Everyone thinks their child is perfect...choose your words wisely when discussing problems with parents.  Take time and jot stuff down and always start with a possitive.
5.  The more you give the more everyone takes!  Set boundaries with your colleagues, so that you don't get burnt out.  Or just make it harder for them to take!  I have a sign out binder for teachers to fill out when they borrow things from me.  It prevents them from sending kids over to interrupt my lesson.  Don't feel bad about it either, they are the ones asking you for a favor!
6.  Always put the runners/problem students in your group for field trips.
7.  You will never take a full lunch break.
8.  Kids tell it like it is.  So if one of them tells you that you look beautiful, it is the best complement in the world!
9.  Dollar tree pencils are crap and the points fall out.
10.  You have an extreme influence over the students in your care.  I notice my students mimicking my mannerisms and my germ-phobia (I always say "wash" after someone sneezes in their hands; now the kids just do it or will remind their friend to.)  This is an awesome power and responsibility.  It puts a lot of pressure on us to be perfect.  Being perfect is unrealistic; I tell my students nobody is perfect and even teachers make mistakes and have bad days. Still, I kill myself trying.

Happy Teaching!


  1. Ha ha! I laughed out loud at some of these! So very true! Looking forward to your next book!
    Kelley-(new blogger-3rd grade)

  2. Erica,

    You're absolutely right about the laminating machines in schools...they never seal properly and on top of that, there is usually a long list of people waiting to use it. I find it easier to work from home, it is more quiet and peaceful, and I've been thinking of getting a laminating machine for my house. Which do you use at home, or do you have any suggestions?


  3. Chantelle,
    I use a GBC Heat Seal Laminator that I got years ago. It still works great. It can laminate letter or legal sized papers depending on the size of the heat seal pouches you purchase. Get 3ml or 5ml heat seal pouches for it.

  4. I absolutely agree about the theraputic benefits of laminating. The money I spent on my laminator (from Walmart) was the best $24 I could've ever spent. The laminate is so thick and sturdy and works very well for dry erase markers. (Note: Sam's Club has the laminate for an awesome price.)

  5. I love #1 and #2. I'm really thinking of buying my own laminator!

  6. lol, I love it. SO TRUE!!!


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