Reader Appreciation 2008: Emily Reader Appreciation by Joel Wagner - November 6, 2008July 1, 20104 November is Reader Appreciation Month at So You Want To Teach? This year’s focus is First Year Teaching Tips. There’s still room if you want to participate! Contact me and let me know your answer to this question: What are some things you wish you had known before you started your first year of teaching? Today’s response is from Emily, a regular reader of this blog. NEVER assume your kids know the basics, you might be surprised. It’s not you personally, but it might have been something you overlooked. Sometimes, patience isn’t enough, though it will get you through the tough times. First and foremost: love your students first, then share your knowledge. Classroom Procedures should be set up the FIRST WEEK of school, not in the SECOND QUARTER! Sometimes, the money doesn’t even play into it when your students “get it” for the first time. Never think you’re insulting the students’ intelligence when setting up class rules. Sometimes, they are dumber than they look, doesn’t matter how old they are. Everything I needed to know about Middle School students, I learned from my Preschoolers. Whoever invented TIME OUT was a genius! Don’t be afraid to use a method book when trying to teach a new concept, sometimes it does the work for you. If you don’t give yourself some ME time once or twice a week, bitterness will surely ensue. Watch out…. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.