Best Advice I Was Ever Given

6:00 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

The best advice I have ever received as an educator was given to me during my student teaching.  I put myself through college waiting tables at Boyne Highlands, and many teachers work summer jobs, so I had the pleasure of working with several teachers.  One of these teachers on summer vacation working waiting tables was a high school  social studies teacher.  He found out I had just finished my student teaching, and had some great advice for me:

Create one great lesson for every class every week.  The rest of the time just survive.

This is not only the best advice that I have ever received as a teacher, but it is the advice that I give to all the new teachers I come across.

This advice struck me because I strive for perfection in everything that I so, but teaching is tough work emotionally, physically, and mentally.  In addition new teachers often spend a fair amount of time recreating the wheel.  This advice helped me realize that there was no way that I could make six classes worth of lessons AMAZING five days a week.  Yes, my first job was six preps: all the English and Social Studies classes for grades 7-12 in multi-age classrooms.

The real meaning behind this advice is that if you create one amazing lesson in each class, each week you are getting great instruction in for your students without killing yourself.  The other four days it is okay to use the textbook, an lesson you find online, or an activity or handout you find on Teachers Pay Teachers.

If you do this every year, in five years or less (if you teach the same class or classes) you will have a full year of AMAZING lessons.  Now many of us don't teach the same lessons for five year (some are that lucky), but often you can adapt what you already have, so you don't really end up too far behind.

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