All Time Best Teaching Advice

November 17, 2007 Joel Wagner 4
This article has been viewed 6,026 times.

As I have been reading the interviews for the Reader Appreciation Month (by the way, there is room for another 7 interviews. If you don’t send them in, they end on Wednesday!), I have been amazed at the depth of knowledge of some of the readers of this blog.

I was going through my Google Reader the other day and came across a post by Best (and worst) advice. In it, he lists some of the best teaching advice he has received. Additionally, he points to some standard “wisdom” that really isn’t all that wise. It made me think…

If I were to give only one piece of advice to a brand new teacher, what would it be? ...

You Better Smile Before Christmas!

December 8, 2007 Joel Wagner 10
This article has been viewed 8,612 times.

The common classroom management wisdom we all hear is, “Don’t smile before Christmas.” I believe that advice is good advice when taken metaphorically. If taken directly as written, it is about the worst advice you can follow.

Good advice
In the middle of my fourth semester of teaching, when I was learning how to really get a handle on classroom management, I asked lots of questions. Among the answers I got was this little gem:

Never smile before Christmas!

I asked further questions for clarification, and my mentors advised me that basically my job as a teacher is to educate the children. It is not to be their friend. The funny thing is that when you are strict, ...

The Single Most Important Advice Anyone Can Give To A First Year Teacher

September 21, 2008 Joel Wagner 9
This article has been viewed 18,335 times.

When I first started out teaching, I desperately wanted the kids to like me. To this end, I ended up letting my classes get out of control. A handful of things contributed to this:

  • Concerning myself with every matter that was brought to my attention
  • Allowing kids to mesbehave
  • Trying to get the kids to like me
  • Yelling at kids
  • Arguing with them
So I learned how to get control. If this sounds like something you might have trouble with, I encourage you to check out these articles in this order:
  1. You Better Smile Before Christmas!
  2. How Do I Keep My Students Quiet?
  3. Arguing Is Normal, isn’t It?
  4. 5 Surefire Tips For Handling Misbehavior
  5. Make Love not War – How
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