Part Five: Top 5 Lessons

Good morning! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of tornado watches, social events, and returning from a four day family trip to my hometown in Texas. This post was originally handwritten and almost ready to be edited and published last Wednesday (the 22nd) but I lost the original two pages in Texas. Starting from scratch, but the topic is easy to remember: the top five lessons I’ve had as a teacher and a student. To catch up on the mini series, I’ll be writing and posting the last three posts between today and Thursday, along with some other posts I wanna get posted before June begins on Saturday.
Let’s begin!

Top 5 Teaching Lessons

  1. Integrity
    – When you make a deal with a student, stick to it. So if you promise, something I avoid when possible, to let a child play after getting “XYZ” project done… don’t try to then have them line up to go somewhere else. They’ll no longer have faith or trust in the deals and promises that you make. Deals are easier to work with than promises.
  2. Distractions are key
    – When a kid gets hurt, my best trait is to distract them with questions. This also works with distracting the children around the scene to go focus on something else, or to focus on some other question to get them to not create more chaos.
  3. Be prepared
    -One of the ways I find it best to ease my anxiety and cope with mid depression from home life, is to come into my daycare job prepared. What games do I want to play with the kids that help build morale and team support? What about life lessons on dealing with frustrations and anger, sadness, and joy? One of the reasons I love my job, is that we have three rotations: one for arts and crafts, one for alone playtime on the playground, and one for group games. This allows me to try different disciplines and such to see what works with classroom management.
    Being prepared also means personally setting aside all life things to teach and enable children to go for the dreams they desire.
  4. Dream Big
    -A couple of weeks ago, I was working on my 200 word count goal for novel writing practice. I was doing this as I waited for children to come to our daycare and a 2nd grade student saw what I was doing and asked what I was writing. I began tossing ideas out to her and a slowly growing group of friends. Would you go on that adventure? What would you name this animal? I found out later that those groups of kids were setting out on writing a group novel about friendships. That was heart warming as a parent told me that I was the inspiration. Now, I had to tell the kids how they should work on it since they weren’t allowed to bring things out from their backpack and I had to temporarily squash that creative energy.
    What am I going to do to encourage those kids to keep practicing their creative works in writing, art, etc. this summer? I’ll be working with those same 2nd grade kids who began to mimic what I was doing a few weeks ago. My goal is to have the 20 kids that’ll be in this class write their own story, their own classroom rules, and more. I’m currently utilizing Pinterest on how to help a child dream big with creativity and learning.
    I also have been asked by the five friends to edit their book when it comes time to do so and I will gladly help them out.
  5. Be PATIENT
    – This is my worst trait with certain children and one I am not the best at. As a Hufflepuff, I can be patient with a lot of little things like traffic, grocery lines, waiting for something to happen or appear, and the list goes on. As a teacher, my patience runs a little thin when it comes to girls needing to go to the bathroom; injuries and physical pain; children being sick and you have to be patient while you wait to see if the nurse is going to send them home or to wait on the parents to pick them up. The list goes on and this one’s a category that’ll need more work on my end for sure.
This is cute and I’ve seen a kid go through these exact emotions with a balloon.

Top 5 Student Lessons

  1. Time management
    – I returned to college for the academic year of 2018-2019 after taking three years away from college. For the next six months, I’ll be commuting an hour to work and then when I return to classes in the fall of 2019, I’ll still be commuting that same drive for class and work. Time management is a small slice of academic excellence in what you can accomplish in a semester or even two. I find listening to music, podcasts, and audio books beneficial during my commutes and walks on campus. This gives my brain a break from thinking about school work. Once I reach my destination, its time to accomplish at least three things in that one day.
  2. Mental & Physical Health Matters
    – This double category was the reason I took a break from school. I’ve found that having the weekends off to relax at home after spending 10 hours in my car M-F helps me unwind, take a mental health day and manage accomplishing goals around the house and academic goals. Since I park and walk a lot on campus, my health’s begun to improve thanks to the increase of physical activity and watching what foods i eat.
  3. One
    -One semester at a time. One goal at a time. Multitasking doesn’t entirely work too well in my favor. Right now, I am writing this post and barely listening to this instrumental positive energy music. Honestly, it’s been one of my favorite things I’ve found on YouTube. I can sleep to this genre of music and do work while not worrying about when I’m trying to focus on multiple things at once.
  4. Systematization
    – I’m currently taking an online course in Library Information Science and this covers how we store information and knowledge. The way I have my “system” set up is I read the chapter, and take a break. Then, I write notes with the chapter. Take another break and then participate in the online discussion. After doing this two days in a row, I’ve covered two chapters and am ready to take the quiz.
    For in class notes, I write it out once and then go back, relisten to the audio-approved lectures them again, and retake notes. For the most part, this has helped me use the loose leaf paper I have as my goal is to be a more Eco-friendly student. I’d like to get an apple pencil for my iPad when most of my paper’s used up, so I can start saving on money, waste and trees. At the end of the semesters, I’ve been condensing my notes to a digital word document and printing out only what I need to stay in a specific binder.
    Whichever system works for you, go for it!
  5. My sister’s advice
    -My sister graduated from high school during Memorial Day weekend and she gave this controversial advice to children during our church’s children’s moment, in preparation for high school: don’t stress out about grades. What happens will happen, The grade you get helps you earn a better grade in the future.
    So this one’s been one I learned the hard way about managing grades my first couple of years in college. I didn’t understand the importance of reducing your anxiety about the grades. Heck, I wasn’t the best at studying then so my grades showed that. This year, I found that if I actually studied my test anxiety and grade anxiety became manageable. Your grades matter, yes. Just don’t get depressed or anxious because you didn’t get what you thought you deserved. You earn it in college, not so much deserve it.

Thank you does not express my joy for posting for those who check out my little portion of the web here. If you like what you read, you can share it with your friends and family.
Check back every day this week for new content as we wrap up May!
What are some top five lessons you’ve learned as a teacher and student? I’d love to hear what you’ve learned in the comment section.

Thank you again and I’ll see you guys again tomorrow!
Cheers,
Danielle

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