“Who is Wise? One Who Learns from Everyone.” ~Pirket Avot

This quote hangs in my home. It reminds me of my very first week of teaching (long, long ago…) I was fresh out of college and Birmingham Public Schools took a chance, and hired me to teach in a self-contained classroom for (and that time…so I am dating myself) emotionally impaired children. I had eight 6th grade boys. I was so excited to have my own classroom and was passionate about helping them all reach their potential. I remember making a behavior chart where each student earned points for their positive choices. I listed several positive choices…and my student said to me, “if I could do all of that, I wouldn’t be in your classroom”. … I realized quickly that he was absolutely right and asked him which one or two things he would choose to work on first; and we came to consensus. I learned so much from that encounter. I will never forget that student who taught me to be realistic in my expectations…to listen and get feedback from my students, and to work together to create goals and plans to achieve them.
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