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The Teacher Becomes the Student

Teachers are busy people.  They teach reading, writing, spelling, math, history, science, the list goes on and on.  There are papers to grade, standards to follow, lessons to write, meetings to attend, etc.  But teachers aren’t always the ones that are teaching.  After 15 years of teaching elementary school, I can tell you that I have learned many lessons from my students.  Yes, my students have been the ones to teach me all of these years!  In fact, it was hard to narrow down the list.  I’ve curated the top five life lessons that I have learned from my students over the years:


  1. Build Relationships

A strong teacher-student relationship is everything!  Students will not want to work hard for you unless they know they are cared for and respected.  If I don’t take care of my relationships in and out of school, they suffer.  My students help me remember to nurture all of my relationships.


  1. Laugh Often

Kids say the darndest things!  Life is hard, laughing helps us remember that we are all human and we are all in this together.


  1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Kids are resilient.  They bounce back from things quickly.  It’s important, as adults, that we can move on and let things go.  Holding grudges and ill-will won’t get us anywhere.


  1. Be You

One of my favorite quotes hanging up in my classroom is: “Be You.  Everyone else is taken.”  As adults, it is so easy to get caught up and try to keep up with the ‘Joneses.  We are all unique for different ways and we should be proud of that!  So whether you are a bookworm, a needlepoint expert, or a chef in training-celebrate yourself!


  1. Set Goals

Without goals, we are just sauntering through life.  We set goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in my classroom.  It helps keep us on track and we love to celebrate our accomplishments when we improve.  One of my favorite ways to goal set is actually outside of my classroom.  I love to challenge myself at Barre Evolution.  Whether it is beating my monthly attendance number, completing a difficult series without stopping, or noticing small changes in my physique; I love to attend BE classes on a regular basis.  It is good for the heart, mind, and soul.  Who wouldn’t want that?

We are never too old to learn and we never graduate the classroom that is “life.” Hopefully this list reminded you of some important ideas that we can all keep in mind in 2017.


Written and contributed by BE Ambassador Kerri Murphy