The Best Advice #SOL15

25 Mar


Thanks to Jen’s slice this morning that inspired today’s slice.

Over the years I’ve receive and given my share of teaching advice. But in the first few years of my career, I got the two best pieces of advice all new teachers should know.

The first came from my cohort leader while I was in teacher’s college at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. It was 1987 and she was a retired teacher who had a second career working in the Education program. She was a tyrant in some ways and some of the things she said would probably get her into some hot water now . “Ladies, don’t try out a new hairdo or pair of heels for your interview!” Probably good advice for anyone, not just the ladies.

The important piece of advice she gave us all was this: When you pass a fountain, take a drink. When you pass the restroom, use it. Nowadays, with water bottles becoming a lifestyle, the first piece of her advice is out of date. But the second part is still relevant, especially since everyone carries a water bottle all the time. I still heed her advice.

The second came from Ken Bell, the VP at A.R. Kauffman, the first school I taught at. He told me that, whenever you walk through the halls, you should carry some papers in your hand. People will think you are on a mission and are less likely to interrupt and keep you from doing whatever it is you are on your way to do. I laughed at the time, but he told me to remember it. Clearly, I have because it is true. Try it if you don’t believe me.

Neither of these pieces of advice had any direct impact on the kids I teach, but they allowed me to become a much better teacher.

8 Responses to “The Best Advice #SOL15”

  1. JMFaith March 25, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    You are so right about the second piece of advice!!!

  2. Donna Smith March 25, 2015 at 6:58 am #

    I just read Jen’s post, too! And now I’m thinking of a post! Maybe tomorrow’s! This was great advice. I was told once to carry a clipboard and I wouldn’t be interrupted either – worked quite well!

  3. jhaworthoy March 25, 2015 at 7:20 am #

    So true…I don’t know if anyone every advised be about carrying paper (or something)…but I learned quickly that it was a way to get to my destination without interruptions. Plus, I walked quickly…so it looked like I was on an important mission.

  4. arjeha March 25, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    One perk I had where I taught was that the restroom was next to my room. Made it really convenient.

  5. elsie March 25, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    I’m sure this will spark lots of “advice” posts. My advice: every day meet your kids at the door as they enter with a smile. It sets the tone for the day.

  6. Lisa March 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    That’s all great advice. There aren’t nearly enough water fountains at my school; a fact I have noticed because I always try to get a drink when I pass. I’m going to try carrying papers with me wherever I go!

  7. jenferg11 March 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    Thanks for including me in your post. I’m so glad I inspired you (especially with my embarrassing story). I love the paper idea. I need to try that. It seems like I always start to go and do one thing and then someone stops and I’ve completely forgotten what I set out to do.

    The water fountain idea is good, too. I’m trying not to drink too much, though. Remember? 🙂

    I enjoyed reading your advice.

  8. isbergamanda March 25, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    That piece of advice about the bathroom is so true! However, I normally am running around the building with papers in my hands, so how to you go to the bathroom if there isn’t a place to put your papers?!

    -Amanda at

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