Top Ten Lessons Learned: 2010-2011 Edition

Top Ten Lessons Learned This Year:

  1. Students learn best when they have choice over their reading and writing experiences.
  2. Many in education seem to value consistency over learning.  I try to ignore and avoid those folks, but they’re becoming harder to dodge.
  3. I’m a better teacher when I look for ways to go beyond the bell schedule and classroom walls. 
  4. My students benefit when I authentically and voluntarily collaborate with teachers on-site and online.
  5. Starting my own blog, and reading and commenting on other teachers’ blogs makes me a more reflective practitioner.
  6. Every one of my 136 students is an important human being that I’m grateful for getting to know this year.
  7. It’s OK to try and fail.  It’s also OK to be lucky.  It’s not OK to stay stuck.
  8. After a couple of decades of performance evaluation ratings of “Excellent,” this year our district started a new evaluation process.  I’m no longer “Excellent.”  Now I’m “Proficient.”  This makes me laugh, mostly.
  9. It’s OK if every student doesn’t learn the same stuff, as long as they’re all learning.
  10. After 31 years as a classroom teacher, I still love my job.

Cross-posted on English Companion Ning in a slightly different version.

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4 Responses to Top Ten Lessons Learned: 2010-2011 Edition

  1. glenda says:

    Great list, Gary. We’ve had a similar evaluation system for a number of years. I’ve been proficient for a long time, whatever that means. I’m not too sure anymore.


  2. Alyse1982 says:

    I love this list.
    #8 makes me laugh too.
    I never wanted to be a teacher because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put up with #2, but you, and a few other “proficient” teachers I know there, are proof that you can still do #1 and #3 (among many other “outside the box” approaches).
    Keep on doin’ what you do the way you do it.


  3. Scott Weidig says:


    As always your reflections make for great reading and thinking. You might want to look at tryIng a flipped classroom for a bit next year. Here is some information on this concept. It might play well, especially during writers week… A friend if mine Dan Rezac discusses this concept often. Here is a podcast where he talks about Flipping For Slience.



  4. Pingback: Top Ten Lessons Learned: 2012-2013 Edition | What's Not Wrong?

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