Turning desks: 10 lessons I learned from my students

Teachers can come in different forms.

They can be that English prof who taught you the power of words. They can be that new colleague who surprised you when she became a friend after you pegged her for being “difficult to work with”. They can be handling an uncomfortable situation, receiving advice from a stranger, learning to communicate “stop here please” in another language, a parent, a book, a song, a child.

A long while back when I sought guidance from a wise friend, she told me: “Open up to the idea that you can learn from anyone and anything. Your life is full of teachers.”

June 7th marks the end a hiatus for me from being a teacher…a traditional classroom one, that is. In my 15 years of experience, I KNOW I’ve learned valuable lessons from the children I’ve worked with. In no particular order, here are ten important ones:

1. “Rock-scissors-paper” is as good a decision-maker as most tactics.
2. Wearing giraffe ears everyday doesn’t make you weird, it makes you consistent.
3. Tattle-telling is obnoxious, but it’s a child’s way of not tolerating injustice.
4. Farts are funny.
5. Honesty is the best policy, even if it means telling your teacher she looks like she needs to go home to rest.
6.Competition can be fiercely overwhelming, but also motivating.
7. Words hurt.
8. It IS nice to be included, invited, engaged.
9. Parents and friends are influential; always have been, always will be.
10. Be yourself;no one likes a copycat.

Currently, my days in the classroom are screaming some meaningful things at me. It’s amazing how mindful and present we become when we know something is about to end.

If only I could be in this space all the time…how much more would I learn?

  1. angelacarscadden@gmail.com said:

    Having amazing teachers in this world are hard to come by. The world of education will miss you when you’re gone.

  2. Thanks, Angela. Very sweet of you to say.

  3. Holly said:

    Those are some great lessons!

    I think it would not be such a good thing to live as though something is ending all the time. Yes, you may learn more, but it runs the risk of being overstimulating, which in my experience, is a stressful state. I think if we are always open to learning, than at the right times, something instinctual or subconscious takes over and we pay closer attention to learn the things we need to learn at that time. Maybe that’s too optimistic? Or maybe I’m just lazy, lol!

    Great post. Food for my thoughts. Thanks :)

  4. Sarah said:

    I always use #1. I think my students can’t really argue with that. If they lose, they lose. :) Nice entry Christine!

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