Wednesday, July 24, 2013

10 Things...


Thank you Miss Kindergarten for the "10 things I've learned from teaching" link-up.  While most teachers are posting about what they've learned in the elementary classroom, here are 10 things I've learned from teaching high school...

1.  Boys cannot keep a writing utensil on their person for more than 24 hours (probably less, however, that's how often I see them.  In order to rectify the situation I have learned that...

2. Most girls carry around a very organized binder with a pink or purple pencil case filled with pens, pencils, highlighters, a mini pencil sharpener, and heart shaped paperclips...I never provide pens for the boys, instead I direct them to the nearest girl.

 3. Blow-pops make great prizes.  Students will do just about anything to be able to have a Blow-pop in class...vocab charades contest? No problem! Highest quiz grade? Yup!  They are a cheap and easy investment with a high return.

4. Students like to talk about themselves.  Give them in-depth writing prompts and pretty soon you'll find out exactly how they feel about their mom, best friend, fried ice cream, whatever.  Don't be afraid to challenge them.  "What are you struggling with?" has been a great writing prompt that students have answered openly and honestly and helped me get to know them more.

5. Whatever "it" is, don't let them get away with it the first time.  The minute they realize that you let them get away with one extra tardy, you will never see them on time again. 

6. Stay away from the inevitable teacher-gossip and teacher-complaining in the staff room.  It will just make you cranky and bitter.

7. Attend as many of your students' out-of-school activities as you can.  Basketball games, plays, band concerts, whatever...your students, and more importantly, their parents will be incredibly grateful, and it will help you build rapport.

Watching a Warrior baseball game...check out Little Buddy right in the middle of the action.

8. Remember that students have hormones, family problems, self-consciousness, acne, and body odor...sometimes when they are acting like a's about much more than your class.

9. Be flexible.  Nothing ever goes exactly the way that you plan...remember that your students don't know that.  They will always be under the assumption that what you teach during your class period is exactly what you planned to teach during your class period.

10. Take a break.  Always being "on" is hard.  Every once in a while it's perfectly fine to let your students silent read for an extra 15 minutes, or show a movie (here are a few of my faves for the classroom), or throw out a prompt and have them work at their seats on a short story.  Give yourself some grace...spending your days with 16-year-olds certainly entitles you to some!

How do we take a break in AP Lit? A British tea party day of course!!
Here are my 10 things...what about you?

Mrs. V.


  1. Love it! It is so true...I cannot count how many writing utensils I've loaned to boys!!!!!

    Tales of Teaching in Heels

  2. Love this! I just might have to link up as well.