Things you don’t learn in education classes

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No push pins. No tooth picks. No sharp,pointy objects.

A first-year teacher was helping us plan an art project today. She suggested putting push pins into the project before we all leapt in to explain the foolhardiness of the plan. If I build my atom out of marshmallows, I will use spaghetti for connectors. I may still hear a yelp or two, but I won’t have to send people to the nurse.

Eduhonesty: Some first-year teachers will try those toothpicks or push pins before they learn. Why does the research suggest first- and second-year teachers underperform more experienced colleagues? In part, teachers have to learn to think like kids or adolescents. That’s not as easy a process as one might guess.

I had to write up a student today who threw her pencil across the room and then dived out of her chair across the room, sliding on her belly to pick up the pencil. It so would never, ever occur to me to slide across a dirty, schoolroom floor on my stomach. She wanted attention. She got some. I had to write up the behavior, even though it was kind of funny. You let one funny go, though, and the next thing you know you have a bunch of pencils that have suddenly become home plate.