Letter to My Student Teacher

Dear Ben,

It has been a great opportunity to work with you this semester.  As you get ready to graduate and move on to your own classroom, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Never stop learning. Read as much as you can. Attend conferences and workshops to gain insight and inspiration.  Join educational organizations like NCTE, ISTE and ACSD.  Never lose your passion for learning.

2. Don’t bore yourself or your students. If it is boring to plan and you’re not invested, it will be a boring lesson for your students. Now, not every lesson has to be a Vegas show, but if you are not engaged than you know for sure that your students will not be engaged.  When you are creating your lesson think about how you can help your students make personal connection – it is the connections that leave lasting impressions and deeper understanding.

3. Never Work Harder Than Your Students.  Okay, so I took the the title from Robyn Jackson (2009).  Yet, the title, says it all.  If you are doing all the work, than you are doing most of the learning.  In order for your students to learn the material – and by learn I mean understand, apply, and extend the information that you are teaching they need to do a lot of the work.

4. Build a Network.  Find the teachers who inspire you and challenge you.  These colleagues can help  you reach your teaching goals, and reaffirm (and possibly challenge) your thinking about teaching and learning.

It has been the teachers who have taught me where I have learned the most.  My own educational experiences have defined my teaching pedagogy.  The world inspires me for what I do in my classroom.  Make it meaningful.  Make it authentic.  Make learning matter.  Teach in a way that is brain compatible and understand that it is going to be hard the first few years so make sure you get enough rest and build up your immune system.  Make your classroom a meaningful place and a welcoming space.

Go out and do great things, I know you will.

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