All I Really Need to Know
I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum
Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do, andhow to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduateschool mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
These are the things I learned:
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play andwork every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and sticktogether.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goesup and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish andhamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they alldie. So do we.
And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned,the biggest word of all: look.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love andbasic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.
Think what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- hadcookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with ourblankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nationsto always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes.And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into theworld, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
EverythingI Need to Know About Teaching, I Learned in Second Grade
by Nancy Jang
Share. Share your successes with others, shareyour frustrations so that you can get help, share your ideas, share your time,share your materials, and share yourself.
Be a friend. Be kind and respectful to others,even if you don't get along with them. Treat them as you would want to betreated.
Apologize. If you hurt someone, apologize. Whetheryou say a harsh word in frustration or make a mistake, apologize. Taking thatmoment to be sorry matters.
Try. Then try again. If it's something you really want tolearn or make work, don't give up. If it's not working, set it aside, asksomeone else to look at it with fresh eyes, try a new strategy or differentmethod, but don't give up.
Be responsible. Take responsibility for youractions. Be professional. Do what you are supposed to do. People are countingon you!
Be Brave. Try something new and exciting even if youthink it might not go smoothly. Try a lesson that you observed; try a lessonyou read about. Get out of your comfort zone! You never know what new adventure awaits you if you don't take the first step.
Build relationships. Be accessible. So many times, teachers closethemselves off by eating in their classrooms, working through lunch, and nottaking time to relax and socialize. Make the effort to sit with others atlunch, invite someone to go out to lunch, visit other teachers' classrooms, andcompliment others. Try asking to plan with a fellow grade level member.Building relationships with people takes effort, but these are the people youspend almost a third of your life with. Get to know them. Surround yourselfwith people you like and admire. Choose to follow their examples.
Ask for help. Sometimes we need someone to help ussolve a problem, make a suggestion, give us a shoulder to cry on, or lend ahand moving some furniture. Ask, and ask nicely.
Be yourself. If you are artsy and creative, don'tbe afraid to bring that into your classroom. If others need help makingsomething more artsy, lend a hand or make a suggestion. If you are organizedand efficient, bring that to your classroom, and help others with it if they askyou. This is one of the joys of teaching.
Choose to learn. I tell my kids that learning is achoice. Just because you come to school and sit at your desk, doesn't mean youare choosing to learn. Learning involves making an effort to listen, practice,and grow. Choose one area at school each year to improve upon. Go to aconference, read professional development books, do some action research, joina professional organization. Choose something unrelated to school to learn, aswell. We want our kids to be life long learners: we should lead by example.