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    Well said, Grace
    By First Year Teacher

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    I wish I had read Grace's advice before I started my first teaching job at an inner city school this passed August. I teach fourth grade and I had to learn all of these things myself. I would say 95% of my school is full of teachers who YELL, YELL, YELL all day long. I, too, learned that it just doesn't work. What does work is treating the kids with love and respect. Two months ago I would have said that I would leave the "city" for the suburbs at the end of the year for sure. But now, since I have learned that yelling doesn't work, I am learning to relax and have fun with my kids. Yes, there are challenges beyond belief. But, I consider myself so fortunate because I am exposing my kids to new things everyday and learning a lot from them, too. I see them light up when I say "Way to go!" or "I like the way you did that!" I once heard a poem that said something about the teacher's mood setting the tone for the room. This is so true. Many of my students lead unhappy (to say the least) homelives. So, I have created a room/atmosphere that is happy. I have decorated it like a warm, inviting classroom. Staying positive with these children is the key. They get enough negativity at home. It hasn't been an easy road to get to where I am now, but my best piece of advice would be to hang in there and treat the kids with complete respect and you will see that you will get it back. Give rewards, too. I know they are looked down upon by some, but my kids thrive on certficates, small treats, and special days. Good luck to you. Post back and let us know how it is going. Just know that you are not alone. These boards were here for me during my first few months and they will be here for you. Share your highs and lows with us and we will remind you that you are not alone!

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