If you don’t remember anything else, please remember that PLANNING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF TEACHING. Period. If you do not plan, you are setting yourself up for the what could be the worse experience of your life. Not only must you plan for the regular flow of academics, you must also plan for when your plans don’t go as planned. Sounds funny, but it’s true. You may have spent hours planning a beautiful lesson. But if a kid in the back of the room throws up in the middle of that lesson, your plans go down the toilet. If you don’t have an additional plan already in place, what could have been a valuable learning experience becomes wasted time; and time is not something that a teacher can afford to waste.
Almost just as important is this: GO OUT TODAY AND BUY HARRY WONG’S BOOK, THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL. This book is vital. If you can, get a copy of the videos as well. The information in these titles should be mandatory for every undergraduate course. I wish I had known more about it before I entered the classroom.
Finally, you’re going to feel like you’re losing your mind at some point. Please don’t give up. Know that what you are doing is important, and that your influence is going to last a lifetime.