I am sure that if we took the time to reflect, we would be able to come up with many pearls of wisdom, but I guess for me, there are a few things that stand out that I would like to pass on.
First of all, when you are working with children, even though they may sometimes drive you "Nuts", it is important to remember that they are precious and parents have entrusted them to us. I have these posters on my wall in the classroom to remind me, as well as my children, how special we all are.
Secondly, we need to remember to focus on the positive and not let the negative rule the day. It can be exhausting to constantly redirect those who choose to misbehave or distract others. When I focus on those that are doing what is expected, often it will encourage the others to follow suit.
Thirdly, simple management things will help you keep your sanity. Here is one that I use.
I find that it is often difficult to manage quiet line ups and walking in the hallways if the children are always with their friends. To avoid the fussing about who wants to stand by who, I always start the year out with how to line up. When I have an equal number of boys and girls, it is easy. I have them line up in boy, girl order. After a few tries, this is not an issue, and the line up is in place for the rest of the year. Sometimes that is not the case. This year, for example, I have 18 boys and 6 girls. So, I needed to make some adjustments. Our line up is 3 boys, 1 girl, and I have the option to decide if certain boys are able to stand together in the line up. It took awhile, but it is working, and the children can self manage it without me needing to remind them.
Last, but definitely not least, I need to remember to laugh and have fun with my students. I especially love telling them stories about my family and anecdotes about my adventures in school. This provides a great connection with them and they love to see pictures of my kids and grandkids. We are even writing penpal letters to my grandson's class in Korea this year.
One of best moments for me is when we sang happy birthday over the phone to my parents. This was especially precious to me when we sang to my Dad the month before he died.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.