Monday, September 11, 2017

Advice to Student Teacher Me

Nine years ago today, I was evaluated as part of my student teaching experience.  As I make plans to fly to Oklahoma to work with a group of high school teachers next week, it's hard not to think about how far I've come.  If I could go back to that day, I'd give myself a few pieces of advice, some that took years for me to gain:

-Do not fear evaluations, fear leaders who do not know how to evaluate themselves.

-If your evaluations don't include actionable, constructive feedback, abandon ship.

-Time spent doing what you love is not wasted.

-There will be good days and bad days.  For every amazing day, there will be 50 you question everything.  Make cupcakes/muffins on the really bad ones.

-Sometimes you will want to stay home with your dog.  It's ok to use a sick day for that every now and then.

-It is possible to be on fire for what you do every day.  People will think you're crazy.  Do it anyway.  Sometimes that looks like getting out of bed early.  Sometimes it looks like staying up until 2AM planning experiences for your students.  Sometimes it looks like falling on your face in front of students. Sometimes it looks like faking it when your world is falling apart.

-People over paperwork.  The students in front of you take priority over any other "number one" goal people try to give you.

-Teachable moments rarely happen on a schedule.  They are the most important lessons you will teach.

-Pivots happen.  Embrace them.  (Who would have thought I'd be teaching computer science classes and training teachers in the use of ed tech when I was working on degrees in math and special education?!)

-Just keep swimming.

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