10 Things I've Learned From a Decade in Public Education

This past June, I wrapped up my tenth year of teaching. It seems like a long time, but really, it's not.  I've been so blessed to spend all ten years in the same building, although I've jumped grades and rooms many times. Over the past decade, I've learned a lot...so much from my colleagues, so much from my students, and so, so much from my own mistakes. So after ten years, here are my ten takeaways. 

My first few years, we had a supply closet in our building, and it was glorious!  It felt like a shopping trip every time you went it.  It had so many fun things, like magenta construction paper and Wiki sticks.  I am so blessed to work in a district with a supply warehouse.  When I need something, I can usually get it from the warehouse.  This has saved me so much money.  If you have warehouse, use it.  Don't spend all of your hard earned money on Crayolas when you can get Rose Arts through the district.  Save that money for wine (see #8).  

Curriculum, administrators, expectations, lunch menus...it's all a-changin'! Don't get too comfortable, because chances are, it's going to change.  Embrace the change, and...

Don't get worked up every time something changes.  Try to see look at things with a positive attitude.   If you get yourself all bunched up over every little thing, then you're going to have a tough time.  You'll hate your job.  There are  definitely going to be times that you need to question, voice an opinion, or just not like what's being done.  Just try not be be like that all of the time.  It'll get you a reputation.  

We just got AC in our building four years ago, and it is the best!  Not all of the primary buildings in my district have AC, and I feel for them.  Ours is kind of wacky and comes on and off at odd times, but I'll take that wackiness any day over no AC.  I'll never forget those soggy bra, popsicle filled Septembers and Mays.  

I'm not being mean here.  What I'm saying is, choose your words carefully.  No one really likes that person that is spouting off about every little blessed thing.  You all know that person.  I do, too.  Don't be her or him.  It's important to have an opinion, and it's equally important to voice your opinion eloquently.  People will listen to you if you know when to listen, yourself.  So when you're tempted to just say one more thing, shut your mouth.  

Your grade level team can be such a source of inspiration, friendship, and joy.  I am so blessed to be a part of a wonderful 2nd grade team.  I love those girls!  We don't all work the same way and do the same things, but we definitely can lean on each other and learn from each other.  I truly believe that your team is your greatest resource.  

You can never have enough.  When you think you have enough, your kids will prove you wrong.  I'm not sure what exactly they do with all of the glue sticks, but I do know that we always need more.  One of my teammates was completely convinced that someone was stealing them out of her classroom this year.  Haha!  No one was taking them, but it was really tempting to prank her. 
Cue to #1, thank goodness for that warehouse and their seemingly endless supply of glue sticks...although, even the warehouse is out come May and June.  

So, I don't have super thick skin.  I just don't.  Parents can get to me pretty easily.  I hate the feeling of being disliked, which is definitely something I need to get over.  Nothing can ruin my day like an angry email or request to *gasp* call home.  I have had so, so, so many wonderful families over the past ten years, but it's the tough ones that I tend to remember most clearly.  I hope that in the next decade, I can learn to brush off the tough ones a little more easily.  What's your best strategy for this???

Remember that. It's your job to teach.  At the end of the day, if you've done a solid job teaching, then you're doing well.  A cute, Pinterest-y classroom and fabulous friends are a total bonus, but they aren't necessary to being a good teacher.   Be a good teacher first, and let the other stuff fall into place over time.  

I love my job.  There is no other job that I think that I'd more than this one.  I feel so incredibly blessed to go to a building that I love and teach the kids that I love with the friends that I love for a principal that I love.  What a joy!

Those of you in public education, what is your biggest take away?  


  1. I enjoyed reading this. I so agree with #2. Every year there is always something new we have to learn or some sort of change that is being made. Thanks for sharing!

    Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie

  2. With the help of a man called Dr.Addo I was able to get pregnant though his root and herbs. I'm 47years of age, it was really difficult for me to pregnant though my husband loves me but it was really hurting me not having my own child but after many years I came across Dr.Addo. I'm 7months pregnant now through the help of the wounderful man and I will advice everyone looking for help to get pregnant to contact this gretae man via his email at: ( addosolution@gmail.com ) and be happy like me.

    from CANADA


Back to Top