For Teachers

Please find below some pearls of wisdom on the art of teaching. If you choose to reproduce them, I kindly ask that you acknowledge me as the author.   Kylie Fedrick

On Students

  • Sometimes you will never know the influence you have on your students, but that doesn’t mean you’re not having one
  • Focus on what students do know and can do rather than on what they don’t know and can’t do
  • Your most challenging students are sent to teach you something about yourself – to be more patient, to be more compassionate, to be more loving and/or to gain new skills
  • Know your students first, the curriculum second
  • A student is more than the sum of their academic potential
  • It is our job as teachers to nurture not diminish children’s natural love of learning
  • Sometimes, your class is a student’s only safe haven in an otherwise crazy world
  • Academic content may change over time, but the core of teaching remains the same – the relationship between a teacher and their students
  • Value each and every one of your students for their uniqueness
  • Special needs students can leave the deepest footprints on your heart

On Parents

  • You can only control what happens during the school day for each child, not what happens at home
  • It takes a village to educate a child
  • We may not agree with their style of parenting but the majority of parents do want the best for their children
  • Parents share a lot of personal information with us about their children, but it is important to maintain professional boundaries. Be friendly, but not their friend.

On Colleagues

  • When a fellow teacher meets a child with special needs for the first time and asks me, ‘What can they do?’ my response is always, ‘What can’t they do?’
  • Best teaching practice for children with special needs is best teaching practice for all
  • Be generous in spirit and share your hard-earned knowledge, expertise and resources with others
  • Imagine each day sitting in a room being told to complete tasks that you don’t understand and then you will truly sympathize with students with learning difficulties

On Behaviour Management

  • Only you can set the emotional tone for your classroom
  • Know what triggers you to lose your patience with students and see these triggers as opportunities for personal and professional growth rather than issues to avoid
  • Schools and therefore classrooms are microcosms of larger society. What kind of society do you want to create?
  • When your teaching day is at its most hectic, stop and breathe – deeply
  • You don’t have to like every one of your students but you do need to show them respect
  • Good behavior management starts with being organized
  • Teach your students to think – not just to comply
  • When you lose your patience with a student remind yourself in that moment that you’re a teacher, not a saint
  • Teach from the heart and the rest will fall into place

For You

  • Everyone has the potential and the opportunity to lead in schools. Make your leadership potential count
  • Teaching is a marathon, not a sprint
  • You give a lot of yourself in teaching – to students, to parents, to colleagues. Don’t forget to give something back to yourself
  • Embrace new ideas and new technologies in order to stay relevant in your teaching practice
  • We expect students to take risks when acquiring new skills – ensure you are willing to take those same risks with your own learning
  • Teaching is a spiritual calling
  • Balance your passion and idealism with pragmatism in order to avoid cynicism
  • Reflect often on your teaching practice and ensure it aligns with your values, your knowledge of best practice and meets the needs of your students
  • Good teachers love learning
  • Listen twice as much as you talk to your students
  • Differentiation means more than catering for different learning styles. It means catering for different emotional styles too
  • A balanced teacher makes for balanced students
  • Professional reflection is the first stepping stone to professional development
  • There may be higher-paying jobs, but there is no higher calling than being a teacher

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