Although I am a teacher myself, even I didn’t appreciate teachers as much as I do now that I have a school-aged child. My daughter is in preschool this year, and I notice every little thing that her teacher does for her because I KNOW and I UNDERSTAND the effort it all takes! This work that we do challenges us to our core, and no one but a teacher quite understands the time, effort, sweat, tears, joys, sorrows, heartaches, and every emotion in between that we experience on a yearly basis. It’s all worth it, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other profession. From one educator that “understands” to another, THANK YOU for ALL that you do.
I start out each year by introducing various Life Lessons to my students. We discuss each one and students write about them during morning work. I then attach them to my bulletin board, and I refer back to the Life Lessons as needed throughout the year. I find that having those deep discussions at the beginning sets a precedent of behavior for the rest of the year. It works!
Don’t quite know what to do with those yearly class pictures? I added them to the front of my desk! It’s a fun way to display the classes over the years, and my current students love to look at them!
I place a laminated classroom list next to my “turn in” box in the classroom. When students turn in an assignment, they use an overhead marker (I find it works best on laminated paper) to write their initials next to their name on the list. This allows me to quickly check who has or has not turned in their assignments!