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Top 10 Things I've learned in Teaching - Rebekah Nyakairu

Top 10 Things I’ve learned in Teaching

top ten teaching

Finishing ten years of teaching has been like reaching a major milestone for me. It has transformed what I believe I am capable of doing. TEN YEARS. Wow, that sounds like a monumental occasion to celebrate.

I vividly remember my first year of teaching and how I did not think I would survive it. I was teaching in a Title One school and had a classroom full of different student issues, personalities, and challenges. When the Special Ed teacher told me she had no idea how all of my kids got placed together, I knew I was in for an interesting year. I was brand new to teaching and my classroom management skills were a very far cry from what they are today. I remember feeling so utterly discouraged and wanting to give up.

It was one particular late evening, I was in my classroom alone and feeling overwhelmed, when my principal found me. I don’t remember our exact conversation or what he said to me but I knew this. He believed in me. When I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. When I could simply see all my failures. His simple act of believing in me gave me the courage to push on and make it through that year. 

Looking back, I can see how far I have grown as a teacher. I taught eight years in a large, low income public school and now for two years in a small, private school. Both school settings have presented unique challenges and opportunities that have allowed me to grow as a teacher. Every year is filled with new challenges and often new rewards.

Below is list of ten things I have learned over the years of teaching. I always need to remind myself of these truths every year.

Ten Things I’ve learned in Ten Years of Teaching

1. Perseverance is Key

2. A Great Team makes a huge difference

3. Good Classroom Management sets a solid foundation 

4. Personal stories are a fun way for your students to relate to you

5. Your most challenging students may end up being your most rewarding ones

6. Some days you need to know that tomorrow is a fresh start

7. Give yourself time for creativity, organization, and experience to grow over the years.

8. Snow days are the best

9. Students thrive when they know you love and care about them.

10. There’s nothing sweeter than a handwritten note or a student picture

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What lessons have you learned in teaching? When has someone believed in you?


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