Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Advice for New Teachers From 3rd Graders

Tomorrow my third graders will sing at a special ceremony honoring new graduates in Elementary Education. Some of them we know very well. Heidi and I are going to do some speechifying at the event and my class will sing a couple of our greatest hits (we're also going to try to hawk some of our CDs there). I took snippets of my students thank you notes to our wonderful student teacher Miss Kristin and wrote this poem. Only I didn't really write it, I just assembled it. This will be read in parts, "Reader's Theater" style. Heidi will read the red, I'll read the blue and we will read the black words together. The kids will read the last few lines with us. Even if you are not a teacher there are bits of real wisdom here on how to simply live a good life.

Enjoy your new class

Have a great time teaching

Be kind

Be patient

Stay confident in yourself

Be positive

Be understanding

Be a success

Not an epoch failure

Enjoy your recess

Play with your kids

Give lots of time to read

Laugh and joke a lot

Be a learner along with your students

Write a lot

Remember the power of pencil on paper

Do lots of fun science with baking powder

Love your students

Be creative

Do your best

Have reasonable consequences, you’ll have to have them

Be yourself and bring your family into the class

Remember you can do this

You’ve done it before

Let your students know that you are the teacher

There DOES have to be someone in charge

Remember that sometimes students have the floor

When you do read alouds, make

Connections to your life

Play games with your students. Have lots of


When you’re not being serious

Smile as much as possible

Know what you’re teaching about

It helps

Ask your students what they want to learn about

Help other people in the whole earth

Like Haiti, China, Chile, Pakistan,


Be a friend to all of your children

Be encouraging

Be brave

Stand up for justice and liberty

Have lots of books in your classroom

Share your favorite books with your

Best friends

Be best friends with your kids

Read good books by candlelight

Let your children express themselves

Do lots of hands on activities to demonstrate how the world works

When you are doing reading and writing

Put on quiet music

Be funny

Be athletic

Be smart

Be friendly

Don’t be too strict

Don’t be too mean

Don’t just listen to one side of the story

Keep your sense of humor, because-

What’s a teacher without a sense of humor?

Never give up and you will go along way

Make a difference in kids’ lives

Help them change the world

Respect and love – that’s what it’s all about

1 comment:

Chris Hass said...

What a great idea to use the kids' advice to make a two-voice poem. Tricia said it was really good. She had already read it on your blog but enjoyed the performance.

It occurs to me that doing something like this would make a lot of sense in the classroom with the kids. We create posters and "word waterfalls" quite often but I've never thought of turning it into a poem.

I've had four interns now and each time we have sat with them in one final circle during their last moments with us in our classroom. We take turns thanking them for all they've given us and then offer advice, from each of our perspectives, as to how to be a great teacher. I always struggle trying to think of just one thing to say. There are dozens if not hundreds. In the end, though, I usually decide to remind them to have fun and laugh with their new friends each and every year. It's not all that enlightening and leaves out so much that is important to teaching but it's what I love most about teaching.I figure they have plenty of time to figure out the rest.