No success will come from squandering time. Time is too precious to waste. The summer months and holiday weekend that we are afforded in the education business should not become an excuse to catch up on all the latest greatest movies and pack away the bon bons. Instead, these times seem to be best spent by analyzing where things stand with your current teaching position. What has worked so far this year? What will work better if I start doing it after the break? If it’s summer, how can I start out the school year more prepared than I did last year?
So what will I be doing over spring break?Another good thing to do is catch …
In The Beginning
When I was in college, I had an assignment for one of my classes. The assignment was to write up my own philosophy of education. It was somewhat noble (“I teach children to be better people through music” or something like that). It was substantially trite. Most importantly, it lacked any passion behind it.
In my very first teaching job interview, the principal interviewing me asked me what my educational philosophy was. I gave some sort of flimsy answer because I wasn’t prepared for the interview. He gave me a chance later on to ask me if I had any questions. I asked him what his educational philosophy was. What he said has stuck with …
Above all else that you do in education, classroom management skills will pay greater dividends. I cannot tell you how much more teaching I actually get done now that I have learned how to get and keep children quiet. This one skill was the single thing that prevented me from being useful at all during my first two years as a teacher. This one skill was the single thing that allowed me to be supremely useful in my third year of teaching.
No matter what you do, do not underestimate the value of spending time learning and refining classroom management skills. No other educational endeavor will be as fruitful.
A Matter of Priorities
During my first two years of teaching, I discovered that I had a whole lot of information, but the students just weren’t listening to me or learning from me. It is not, mind you, because I was giving them wrong information. It was, however, because I had placed the priorities in the wrong order. When we have the proper perspective, we will end up teaching far more than we ever imagined we might teach.
When I first got into the business of education, my priority was to educate children. So my philosophy could be summarized as:
When we have the proper perspective, we will end up teaching far more than we ever imagined we might …