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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Articles for Teachers

Back to School For Teachers - 5 Essential Items That Won't Cost You a Dime
By:Charlotte Babb

"But I don't want to go to school!" says the punchline of the old joke. You have to. You're the teacher."

With the items on this list, every teacher whether in public or private school, college, university or corporate training, can have a more productive and enjoyable term. No purchase necessary, although some assembly is required.

1. Attitude Adjuster
Find some small activity each day to remind you that you are the critical factor in every class you teach. Your philosophy of life, your belief in the essential goodness or evil of humanity, your opinion of the value of each of your students is revealed by every gesture, every glance and every word that comes from your mouth.

Despite the frustrations that you will encounter, remember that you are the one who can make a difference. Draw a smiley face on your computer monitor. Write a positive quote on the blackboard every day. Practice smiling before Christmas.

2. Presentation sharpener
Think about your stacks of prepared materials. How can you "tell" less and allow students to explore more? How can you add visual representations, kinesthetic activity, teamwork to the lesson plan to involve those students who just don't get it by hearing about it. Open your mind to new approaches, and try one thing different for each unit. Ask students what they know, and what they think they need to know to do well. They will surprise you, both by their conservatism and by their novel ideas.

3. Mind Stretcher
Read something inspirational every day such as Notes from the Universe or other uplifting material. Spend two to five minutes on yourself every day. Once a week, go down to the library and read an article from your professional journals--the ones that are collecting dust behind the media specialist's desk. Look for one idea, one insight, even one funny story that you can use to sharpen your presentations.

4. Stress Escapes
Learn to breathe. It's more than a sigh, more than the gasp between barrages of explanation. Expand your belly, fill your lungs, and stop for a second as your blood fills with oxygen. Then slowly let your breath out, clearing the toxins from your blood and your brain. Stop for another second. Keep your eyes open and be aware.

Do this at least three times between classes. If you have self-contained classroom, stop and have everyone breathe to change gears between math and writing or after coming in from recess or lunch. Get some oxygen in the brain and teach a little biology at the same time.

5. Mind Drill
At least once a week, clear off your desk. Pack up your papers. Close your books, and take five minutes away from your other responsibilities. Take a few extra deep breaths, long and slow to clear the busy-ness of your mind. Give thanks.

What have you to be thankful for? Remember that your task is among the most valuable in all of the world, despite what you may be paid or the recognition you get. Your service to the community is a gift that many cannot accept, knowing that every life that touches yours in a classroom or anywhere else is immeasurably changed. Be aware of your possibility, be humbled by your responsibility, and be grateful for the opportunity.

It's going to be a great year.

Even teachers need a fairy godmother. Read Wishes Can Come True http://beyourownfairygodmother.com/ by Charlotte Babb for stories and tips on how you can leave the old stories behind and manifest what you want in your life.

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