I Wish They Had Taught Me…

With all the press lately about revamping teaching education programs, I thought I would put my two-cents in. Here’s what I wish they had taught me when I went to school to be a teacher.

  • How to tell if a kid really had to go to the bathroom or if they are just avoiding work.
  • How to tell a real injury from a kid just avoiding work.
  • How to tell if the constant lack of supplies is due to financial hardship or just a kid avoiding work.
  • How to make that kid stop avoiding work.
  • How to make a kid who is angry at the last period teacher like this period.
  • How to make the kid who won’t be quiet, be quiet.
  • How to make the kid who won’t speak up, speak up.
  • How to plan a lesson that interests all the kids.
  • How to adapt that lesson for a unannounced (or unplanned) fire drill, assembly, announcement, bomb threat, ect.
  • How to calm kids down after lunch.
  • How to calm kids down after Halloween.
  • How to calm kid down the day before Spring Break.
  • How to make a kid know you’re serious about their behavior without being a “mean teacher.”
  • How to laugh in class and still make kids take it seriously.
  • How to tell the kids that writing is their voice…and make them believe it.
  • How to teach something the week before exams rather than just wasting all five days on exam review.
  • How to find enough for them to read with no money, a minimal copy budget and a computer lab that has a waiting list to get in.
  • How to teach what the state says I should teach, what the experts say I should teach, what the district says I should teach, and what the parents say I should teach in only forty-five minutes a day.
  • How to tie it in with what the students really want to learn.
  • How to know how to talk to a kid when they’re going through a death, a divorce, a move.
  • How to read a kid’s journal and know what is real and what’s “just being stupid.
  • How to know when to get involved and when to stay out of it.
  • How to make a kid that hates school like at least one class.
  • How to make a kid that never smiles smile.
  • How not to take it personally.

Can they teach us all that?

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