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10 Lessons You Learn From Teaching

January 30, 2018

Photo by Erika Dash Photography

As January seems to slip by, I can’t help but think at how quickly this year has truly started to fly, and when I start to think about how quickly 2018 has flown by, I am amazed that I’m halfway through my third year of teaching. It’s been an enjoyable journey and I feel lucky to teach each year.

Teaching has been full of challenges, moments that are both humbling and rewarding, and it is a profession which leaves you learning more and more about people and about life.

There’s a few things I’ve learned from teaching, and here are my top ten things from the past two years of teaching elementary school. I think so many of the things I’ve taken away from teaching can translate to life! Even if you aren’t a teacher, I hope a few of these you can relate to as well.

1 // You learn the importance of a Growth Mindset

When my students say, “I can’t do that,” I will quickly add on, “yet”. There have been lessons I have specifically taught for students to get more used to thinking and responding positively. I’ve realized just by changing around mindsets, a person starts to truly believe anything is possible. 

Saying Yes can have a far greater impact on your own life! Click To Tweet

2 // Go With the Flow

There were times when I first started to teach, where I felt I needed to be in control at all times. I quickly realized I was fighting a battle I couldn’t win. By embracing the laughter, the organized chaos and empathizing with the kids, it was so much easier to relate to them and to reign them back in after an off-topic comment or rowdy gathering. Sometimes in life-we just have to go with it. Some things aren’t worth fighting. 

3 // Seek Joy, and Look Through The Eyes of a Child

Kids are just plain joyful! I love seeing the happiness in their eyes when they figure out something they didn’t know before, or they’ve read a good book for the first time. There’s so many times I’ve realized kids see joy in more ways than most adults do. I’m not sure when it is adults lose their faith in the world or quit seeing the joy in each day, but I love being reminded from kids what joy looks like to them.

4 // Growth Isn’t Measured by Success, it’s Measured by Failure

The kids who work incredibly hard and don’t succeed on the first try find greater victory when they finally accomplish their work. There’s no better compliment for a child than telling them, “You did it!!” Elation and joy are the reactions when they realize they’ve achieved the topic they’ve been working towards. Sometimes adults need to be reminded success comes from working hard and even falling down a few times. The things worth fighting for will be worth it!

Keep working towards your goals and dreams. It is SO worth it. Click To Tweet

5 // Don’t be Afraid to Dream Big!

Kids have such big dreams; astronaut, astrophysicist, artist, bee keeper, horse trainer, veterinarian, world-changer. They dream of such big things because they haven’t been met with limits yet. Or they just don’t see limits. Couldn’t we all use a little bit of that? We could all use some time to realize limits aren’t a stopping point, just another bend in the road. 

6 // Anyone Can Sing

As I sat listening to my student’s music concert this year, I was struck by how much everyone wanted to participate. Even the kids who usually didn’t enjoy singing, were excited to perform with their peers. They enjoyed being a community and finding joy in music. Music is an international language we all can appreciate. There’s a little something for everyone and kids show that continuously. So no matter how you feel towards singing, sing loud and proud.

7 // Noises Can Make or Break a Crowd

Yes, you may laugh at this. But we’ve all been there. The inevitable fart noise ensues and with kids, that travels fast and far. And no matter the noise, the kids are giggling. There may not be a recovery from it, but you just have to laugh. I can’t help but think that as adults if someone makes any noise, that reaction doesn’t really happen. With kids, it’s a bonding experience. When did adults get so serious? It’s okay to make others laugh! Who knows? You may actually make a buddy for helping them to laugh.

8 // People Care

I really didn’t expect the amount of love and support when I started to teach. When you’re in front of 30 students all day, you really start to realize the phrase, “It Takes a Village To Raise a Child”, is beyond true. I have encountered so many different people who want to help in the classroom, with events, other teachers who have made a difference. I’ve also encountered the opposite spectrum of support where you’re not sure what to make of it. However, I’ve come to realize it’s only because people care SO deeply about their child, the school, and the community. People care. It may be hard to say aloud as an adult, but it is beyond true. Know there are so many people ready to help you out, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

9 // Sleep + Balance is a Must

Most nights after school for me look like working out, school work, and then blogging. Or more of one of those than the other options. Safe to say, school work is a commitment. It’s a great deal of grading, planning, organizing, and prepping. To me, it is exhilarating. I’ve also learned it requires caffeine and a good night’s sleep. Taking care of yourself is key. Just like it is each day of your own life. You have to take care of you. You are so important, so make sure to show yourself some self-love. 

10 // There is So Much To Be Thankful For

In teaching, you encounter people from all walks of life. You hear stories of triumph and of heartbreak. Often, days are filled with so much. Hearing about the challenges others face really makes you realize how good life is for you. Teaching has always seemed to put my problems in perspective. It’s helped me to realize just how meaningful each relationship is around me, and just how thankful I am to be a teacher.

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