Why Experience Is The Best Teacher

September 5, 2012 Joel Wagner 0
This article has been viewed 10,108 times.

“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

We tell that to our students, and they don’t like. We hear it when we start out in the teaching world and we don’t like. I remember an experienced band director told me once that he would tell me how to be a better teacher if he knew. He just knew that experience would help me get better. That frustrated me to no end.

I’m a step-by-step guy (if you haven’t noticed by reading other articles on this blog). “Just figure it out” is annoying to me. The way I like to figure things out is to look up the answers and work from there. “Experience is the best teacher” didn’t quite do that for ...

50 Things Every First Year Teacher Should Know

September 2, 2012 Joel Wagner 3
This article has been viewed 26,792 times.

I am in my 11th year of teaching now. Where did the time go? One of the top search results that sends people to this blog is “First Year Teacher” so I thought that the beginning of a new school year would be a great time for something like this. I’m sure there are tons of other things that first year teachers should know, but here are a handful of tips.

  1. Persevere
  2. Learn from the wisdom of others
  3. Avoid gossip
  4. Work diligently
  5. Leave room for a personal life
  6. Live on less than you earn
  7. Students are a reflection of their parents
  8. Students are a reflection of their teacher
  9. Persistent problems are usually caused by something you are doing/allowing/omitting/forgetting
  10. Find a

Lose The Training Wheels And Embrace Failure

February 26, 2011 Joel Wagner 1
This article has been viewed 1,665 times.

Remember the first time you realized you were riding a bicycle by yourself? Probably not. But what about when you first got to drive solo? Your parents trusted you enough to give you the keys and go out on your own! It was a great feeling. If you’re like most people, you were so scared of messing up that you were nervous and overcautious. Do you ever see the “Student Driver” cars where they put their turn signal on two blocks before turning and check the mirror seven times before changing lanes?

For many of us, teaching was once like that.

For some, it still is.

Fast forward
What happened after a few years? You began to drive like a ...

Help: Should I Become A Teacher?

January 9, 2011 Joel Wagner 10
This article has been viewed 9,219 times.

Denise comments:

I am in a teaching program, half way through and I just completed my first to “teaching” classes.  Now I have this hugh feeling I’ve made a BIG mistake and that teaching isn’t what I thought it was or that I’m not cut out for it. Not to mention the outlook for finding a job looks bleak. Seems like the writing is on the wall…  Problem is I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years and don’t know what else I could do?  I really do not want to finish the program because I feel I am wasting my time, my money and my heart isn’t in it anymore.  I have always wanted to help ...

10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Job

January 8, 2011 Joel Wagner 2
This article has been viewed 3,699 times.

I have been asked to participate in the Reform Symposium and will be hosting a session this afternoon called 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Job. Feel free to join at 4:30EST today. I don’t normally do these online training things, so hopefully this works. Go to the link here.

A lot of these things are topics I’ve covered before, but here is what looks to be the outline for now.

Professional Sanity
  1. Get a handle on classroom management early
    1. Practice selective ignorance
    2. Don’t argue with students
    3. The phone is your friend
  2. Learn from the experience of other teachers
    1. Ask questions
    2. When someone offers you advice, try to implement the suggestions; if they don’t work, figure
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