Arizona Education Association

Summer 2016

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SUMMER 2016 | ADVOCATE 5 Member Talk VOICE YOUR VIEWS Empathize with your students "Get to know your kids, and let them get to know you. You are a big part of their lives just as they are of yours. Feel their challenges, their sacrifices, their joys and their hurts, and you get memories that will last a lifetime." Erin Havlin High School Chemistry Teacher Be flexible at school and at home "The most important thing to remember is to be flexible. Planning is important, but a teacher needs to be able to quickly modify plans when new situations arise. Also, it's important to give all you can to your job, but you need to take care of yourself mentally and physically as well!" Patricia Swiatek Inclusion Teacher Understand your role in students' lives "There must be a balance between enthu- siasm and cynicism for you to survive the long run. If you start out with nothing but optimism and enthusiasm, the kids and or parents will quickly break your heart and spirit. However, if you go in with the understanding that you can't affect ev- erything about the child and their life but only your small piece of it, then you can maintain both your sanity and drive that makes you want to enter the classroom, even on bad days." Nicholas Smyk Paraeducator Find a mentor "You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Veteran educators are always willing to share their experience and lesson plans with you if you ask for assistance. Don't shut your door and expect to go it alone. Seek out help from those teachers who are respected by their students and their peers. And when you become one of those teachers, be willing to take others under your wing." Laurie Brandon High School English and Social Studies Teacher Manage your classroom fairly and firmly "Classroom management is very important. Have fair rules, consequences and rewards. Do not try to be the student's friend. They need to respect you first and then they can be your friend, like being a parent instead of a playmate. Always keep promises you make to students, and if you tell them you are going to do something as a consequence or punishment, then follow through. If you don't, they will not respect you." Diane Mentzer Library Media Specialist Readers are encouraged to state opinions or make comments in letters that will be considered for publication in this column. The editor reserves the right to edit lengthy letters representing a balance of viewpoints. Generally, letters will not be published without the names of their writers and local associations. Send letters to: "Member Talk" AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, AZ 85004 Contact sheenae.shannon@ WRITE US! "What I Wish I Had Known" Teachers share their best advice to help new educators start their first year with confidence. n

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