Friday, June 27, 2014

F is for Flexibility

Today I will be talking about flexibility. I'm going to flashback to my student teaching to give you an easy mental image for flexibility. Does anyone know who Gumby is!? If you haven't heard of him, he was a very popular clay character on his own show that aired 1955-1962.

Gumby was chosen as our mascot for student teaching along with the slogan 'stay flexible and always smile.' He is a prime example of how we should stay flexible. 

Student teaching motto: Stay Flexible and always smile 
If you are a 1st year teacher, here's a heads up of what may require some flexibility: 
  • Early Release-if you have early release days in your district, be prepared for chaos. The schedules are wacky and nothing goes as you have planed. Just do your best to keep the kids busy and on task.  I have also found for some of my students, if I start talking about the schedules being a little different the week prior to the change-it helps them with the transition (slightly).
  • Be prepared for behaviors (especially after holidays).  Some students who didn't have any issues at the beginning of the year exhibited completely different behaviors after Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break. I mean, can you blame them...I enjoyed my time off too. As one of my students put it, "This school stuff is really cutting into my nap time!"
  • Plan a little at a time. If you can, don't EVER save work for the last minute before a deadline.  Work on it a little at a time because there is always 4 or 5 other deadlines that admins people throw at you to get accomplished ASAP. Just smile as you accept the deadline, get it done and move on with your to-do list. 
  • Expect staff to be absent (without a substitute.) This happens more often than anyone wants, but the truth is-things happen. It's just a bummer when staff is out and you don't have a sub. If you do get a sub, don't remember THEY ARE A SUB. They visit different classrooms daily and work under different teachers. They will probably do things differently, unless you tell them otherwise.  Remember, be flexibly and show them how things are run in your classroom. (Don't forget to be grateful they picked up the job too!) 
  • Parents can be needy.  It's your decision to hand out your home or cell phone number...just remember-Parents can be needy.  I gave out my number and thankfully, my parents were respectful to my wishes of no contact after 7pm. Although, in the morning-I've had texts from 5:30am! (That's a little to early for me, but I just respond when I wake up). Some parents work and only have available time after school hours. If you're a teacher than can stay and meet with them after school-that may require some flexibility on your part. 
I'll leave you with this this quote below, just remember despite the insane circumstances-
you will get through it!

What scenarios as a teacher, have you been in that required flexibility? Are they similar to the ones I described? Share in the comments below! 

View all posts from this series! 

This post is part of my summer series, ABCs of a 1st year teacher. Thanks for reading and check back next week for the following posts: G is for giving up my chair, H is for Hello Sub!, I is for Independence and J is for Jokes.
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