7 Country Wisdoms of Teaching

Catchy right? These are some notes I took at our Regional Teacher's Institute.

Although I'm not an English teacher, I do like hugging and mushy stuff. If you are allergic to that, click away. But every once in a while, some simply practical mush is good for all of us.

If the notes seem random, it's because they are. Take what you will and chew on the rest.


Students want to please the teacher. Often, they don't know how or lack the skills.

If you want a behavior, teach it.

Students desperately need to like each other and you.

1. Slow Down

Figure out what you must teach and teach it well.

Every kid needs a smile. They need to feel encouraged.

Kids need to have their physical needs met, a sense of power, freedom, fun, and belonging in order to come to school and keep coming.

It is not the job of the teacher to fill the cup but to light the fire.

Create memories and belonging.

You can care about kids and still be in control.

Know your students.

2. Keep It Simple

Students control their attendance, attitude, and how hard they work.

Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Say you're sorry. Clean up your own mess. Be aware of wonder.

Kids want to do stuff. If I'm not having fun neither are they! We need to want to be there.

Just because we identify misbehavior doesn't mean they will change. But if we don't identify it, they'll never change.

3. Choose a Positive Attitude

Attitudes are more easily caught than taught. The kids are watching.

4. Choose Your Words

Eliminate the words 'I can't' and 'try'. Do or do not, there is no try. Try is a cue word that we use when we aren't going to do something but we won't come out and day it.

I can't is an excuse to give up and blame someone else.

5. Use Humor

Have fun and laugh every day!

6. Tell More Stories

Using stories teaches kids about responsibilities and behaviors without making anyone feel bad.

7. Challenge Others to Accept Responsibility

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with one point here. Although some people use "I'll try" to mean "I won't", that is no reason to remove "try" from your vocabulary.

    "Try" is what we use to introduce an experiment---how we express that we are going to take a risk. Eliminating "try" means eliminating risks and never stretching beyond what we have always done.