Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Don'ts

Here are a couple of Thou Shalt Nots, the first probably more for old-timers like me than for you. Still, you should cut it out and tape it to your desk or bulletin board or some other place at work so you can see it as the years go rolling by:

Don’t become so cynical and jaded that you forget about the students in your class who can’t wait for the learning to start. They’re excited about what they read last night and about what you’ll say today. They’re excited about what they or other students might say. Once you’ve been at it for a few years, some students will have heard about you from siblings and older friends, and they’ll have anticipated your class since junior high. Seriously. So imagine their response when they hear you talking as if it’s all a joke and none of them care and why are you even wasting your time doing this for a living. Try, try to teach to the ones who care, even if you think you have to imagine them, to pretend they’re out there. Trust me: They’re out there.

Don’t bring your problems into the classroom. If you’re having a bad day, the most you should say about it is, “I’m having a bad day.” So what? One of them is always having a bad day. You’re probably really angry with your significant other, your pets, a new district-wide initiative, the traffic, or Rick Scott. Do NOT make students pay for the sins of others! Fall into your lesson, and soon you’ll all feel better.

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