Sunday, June 23, 2013

12 Things I Wish I Knew 12 Months Ago

1. Always keep extra lunch supplies in your classroom. 

You know, a cup of soup here, some crackers there, a good amount of chocolate and caffeine back in the back. Oh, and you will NEVER have enough plastic utensils.

I think 200 should be enough, right? 

2. Don't stress about all of that cutesy stuff.

I had so many plans of different things to go on throughout the year. Once we got started, I found out a lot of what I was doing was wasted energy. In the wise words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" Instead, focus on hanging student work. Even better, let them choose what they want to hang up!

3. You may not be ready to be a mother, but surprise you're having 25-tuplets!

It all started with the morning sickness/nerves and anxiety in the morning. These kids will test your patience to the max, that is for sure. However, there is something lovable in each of them. My heart broke for each of these kids at least once this year but, it was also able to celebrate their successes.

4. It's okay to ask for help. It's also okay to smile and nod at someone's advice and make it your own.

Almost everyone is willing to help and support a new teacher. They all remember what it's like. Be weary of those who are trying to push their ideas on you. You alone know what will work best for you and your relationship with your students. Take what others say and make it work for you.

5. Stock up on coffee and Coke.
Enough said.

6. Be flexible.

Meetings change, appointments change, kids change, adults change, bells don't ring, it rains as soon as you walk out for recess, computers break, desks break, kids break, people don't show up, the AC goes out, the internet goes out, you forget your lunch, your students sometimes understand nothing that comes out of your mouth, you get sick, kids get sick, policies are altered; and if you're lucky, they all happen on different days.

7. Create a survival kit for THOSE days.

Excedrin, hair ties, sweater, extra pair of shoes (for when you "accidently" jump in the puddle), toothbrush and toothpaste, chapstick (like 20 sticks because you know you'll lose them all), lotion, nail file, safety pins, cough drops, lady supplies, bobby pins, and gum. My kit has grown throughout the year.
8. The importance of acronyms. 

I mean seriously, can I get a dictionary?


9. When it all becomes too much, close the door and focus on what's important.

It took me all year to realize this is what I needed to do. I spent too many hours worrying about what others were frantic about. When I finally realized it, I had shut my door and had 25 little people to focus my attention on. It all seems so cliche, but it's true. The kids are why we're there and they make it all worth it. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my team and everyone that is around me. But when everyone is going crazy at the same time, put that "Do Not Disturb" sign up (or just do as I do and lock your door).

A bit much?
10. Read the ENTIRE label on your Zyrtec before you take it. 

Otherwise you will miss the "may cause drowsiness" and suffer all day long. Seriously, worse day of the year. It was TORTURE. Went to bed by 4:00 that day.

Should have just invested in this contraption.

11. It's okay to act like a fool.

Some of my best lessons turned out when I was standing on a chair or had kids rolling on the floor. You've gotta do what you gotta do to keep a bunch of 5th graders' attention.

12. Smile.

If you believe in that old saying "Don't smile before Christmas," it's fine. Just make sure you celebrate Christmas in August. Kids are funny, farts are funny, but most importantly, I am funny.


  1. Great advice for new teachers. I couldn't agree more!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Congratulations! I wish I had half the wisdom and wit you have when I was your age! It took me years to be as astute and self-reflective as you are! You are obviously in the right profession, we need more like you! Have an awesome summer.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! You're so sweet. I absolutely LOVE your blog. I visit it constantly.


  3. All of this is SO true! Love the toilet paper holder!

    Fifth in the Middle

    1. Me too! I wonder if we could make this into an engineering project? Hmmm. :)


  4. Cute post and so true! I just spent 3 days in a mentor training workshop and we discussed how much a list like this would help a new teacher. :) Great job! I'll pin it to share!
    Creating Lifelong Learners

    1. Thanks for visiting and sharing! It's amazing to think back on the year.


  5. Love this Lizzie! I'm sure your kids have benefitted greatly from having you in their lives. I miss you!

  6. All of these are SO true! :) I especially love the acting like a fool one, lol. It's one of my favorite parts of teaching...sometimes it's like putting on a show!

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

    1. We love doing accents and other crazy things! I'm sure your 1st graders do too. Thanks for stopping by!


  7. # 10... completely did that with nighttime ibuprofen one day. It was the death of me. Still not sure how I plowed through the day without just collapsing and falling asleep!

    Always great to come across another 2nd year NC blogger! I teach over in Union county (next to Charlotte). SO jealous you are down at the beach!

    Bergin's Classroom