It is August and the First Days of School are upon us. Here are the ABCs of a new year whether you are a new teacher or a long-time veteran!

Abraham Lincoln said: “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to
succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”

Begin. The enemy of moving forward is just not starting. So take the first step. It’ll be fine.

Crying is not the end of your career. It’s a stage towards maturity.

Delight in each child. Every day is not delightful. Every child is.

Enjoy yourself! If you’re having fun, probably your kids are too!

Fear is the destroyer of teachers. Immersion in your children overcomes fear. They will save you.

Grades don’t define your children. Use grades (if you have to) to help, not define.

Honor the children, not the adults.

Intrinsic motivation leads to creativity, productivity, and commitment.

Journey is your metaphor for the year. Everyone is on a journey. Where they begin is where you meet them. Where they end is the accomplishment for them to savor.

Killing children’s joy in learning is a crisis in your classroom. Fix it. Now.

Laughter improves your own mood. It is contagious. Laugh for yourself. Laugh for your students. Laugh for your colleagues.

Make sure that your students are reflecting – from the first day of class; 1 minute meditation before beginning each class; deep learning comes from a place of deep thought.

Names matter. Call each child by name. Each day. It is identity, meaning, place, belonging. It is me.

Oh! should happen a lot! Surprise and pleasure with what kids do needs to be expressed. Oh!

Process, the metacognitive, not the fish but the fishing rod…

Quantity of content doesn’t matter; quality of content does.

Reflect – take the time to just think about what you are doing; that’s the route to real learning

Stop! It’s not working! So don’t do it! The point is the children, not you! It’s not about you!

Trust yourself. You have done the preparation. Each student is amazing. Trust them.

Understand time. Time is not a fixed commodity. Leo Tolstoy said that the two most powerful warriors are Patience and Time.

Values must be demonstrated and taught. Without values, it’s all just technique.

Water is a basic for learning. Ensure your students drink. It improves concentration, short-term and long-term memory, cognitive performance, and mood. It reduces conflict. Take time to hydrate yourself. It does the same for you.

“X” is the unknown – learning doesn’t happen where everything is known.

You will influence your students! Take that as both a privilege and a responsibility.

Zero in on your strengths – don’t worry about your weaknesses. If you have something you really want to work on because it’s a hindrance, make sure it’s only one.