Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Things I've Learned in 10 Years

I've been reflecting on my growth as a teacher & decided to document my version of the top ten lists that seem to be popping up everywhere as the new year comes to an end. So here at top 10 lessons I've learned in my 10 years of teaching & coaching.

1) All kids are different, period. In a nutshell you cannot teach the same thing in the same and expect students to "get it".

2) Differentiated instruction comes in different forms. You can change the assignments, assessments, vary from small group to whole group, utilize a layered curriculum model, workshop model, or literature circles to reach kids specifically at their ability level.

3) What was the previously the "best" way to teach anything changes often!

4) The definition of literacy is changing rapidly to include things like computer skills, collaboration, evaluation of sources, and research using the internet.

5) Writing instruction must take into account things kids do naturally like blogging and other social networking mediums.

6) Teachers, like students, need to be told often what they do well!

7) Teachers flourish when they amongst a network of learners-exchanging ideas, team-teaching, and leading professional development.

8) Teachers must be willing to learn from students, especially in a rapidly changing technological world where students are often more savvy, but willing to showcase their knowledge.

9) There is no simple formula for increasing student achievement; this varies according to a school's unique population and needs.

10) Parents, teachers, and administrators really do want the best for students- we just need to learn how to work together to get the results we all want!


  1. While reading this it made me think of how you can sit in a staff development, and listen to teachers have these same reflections, and then acknowledge what they don’t know, but at the same time they also indicate that they have no interest in changing or should I say adapting to changing circumstances. What do you do?


  2. I think when teachers claim to have no interest are really just overwhelmed, frustrated and tired of system that hasn't been responsive to their needs. I think that if you start with small teams and provide mentors to support teachers you will begin to see that light come back on. It takes times- many teachers are sadly burned out and just need a circle of support.