Your See Me After Class Office Hours session is now booked, and you should receive a confirmation email shortly. I look forward to speaking with you during our scheduled time. If you’d like to prepare to get the very most out of your session, here are a few recommendations. But, I promise, none of them are mandatory. (I would never give you homework!)
Would you like to tell me more about what you want to talk about?
Do you already own a copy of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers?
If so, you may want to read the chapter on your topic as a starting point. If not, here’s a link to the table of contents with chapter descriptions to see if your main topic is addressed.
Are you set up to use Google Docs?
Depending on what we’re talking about, there’s a chance it might be helpful to share a Google Doc at some point during the session. If you’re a regular Google Drive user, it might be helpful to double check that you’re logged in, remember the password, etc. If not–no worries at all. There are plenty of other ways of sharing materials if necessary.
Do you really, really need to get some sleep tonight?
As the author of both a new-teacher guidebook and a teaching-related novel, I often get asked for the one piece of advice I’d give to any teacher.
Here it is: Get enough sleep.
When you haven’t slept, you automatically become a worse version of yourself. You become forgetful. You become impatient. You have trouble thinking critically, and you take everything personally.
This is a summary of the huge amount of sleep-related science out there. I wish I’d learned about it earlier in my teaching career.
Instead, I mostly learned that teachers were supposed to do “whatever it takes,” because “failure” was “not an option!” And so, in my efforts to be a great teacher, I often stayed up waaay past what should have been my bedtime.
Spoiler alert: this did not make me great. Instead it meant that, in addition to all the other challenges my students faced, they had a teacher whose emotional rubber band was constantly stretched to its breaking point. I was in no position to process what was happening in my classroom. I did not have the emotional reserves to show compassion to my students.
There were days when I felt as though the nine-year-olds in my classroom knew I stayed up until 2:00 AM planning lessons and were now choosing to throw my efforts in my face by behaving badly. Needless to say, this didn’t bring out the best in me. I took everything personally and lost my temper all the time. My most regrettable moments in the classroom almost all happened on less than five hours of sleep.
Obviously, you booked an Office Hours session because you need much more specific advice–and you’d probably hate to waste time during a session hearing that you need an earlier bedtime. But sleep can also help you gain clarity and perspective on the more complex issues we’ll be talking about. And, while you probably can’t turn your classroom around in one day, you can commit to getting eight hours of sleep tonight.
Try it. See how things look in the morning.
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