Tips from Esme Raji Codell

You must strive to diagnose the roadblocks to learning. Enter your profession with excitement instead of trepidation, and the understanding that if you indulge in a lack of confidence, it will only interfere with the task before you. Basics: Ignore bad behavior as long as you can stand it. A soft voice can be more effective than a loud voice. Start out with positive comments to parents before lowering the boom. Wait patiently for children to answer questions.

Golden Rule in the classroom: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” (write out in gold glitter)

Unless we are moving the children forward, we aren’t doing work.

Children rise to meet our expectations, good or bad.

Give your students jobs. Every week, change their jobs. Jobs may include messenger, postal worker, lunch ticket passer, line captain, and jokester. If your students answer a question that you think is hard, give students a chance to receive something from the Happy Box. Fill it with toys, stickers, and bookmarks.

Cute idea for distributive math:

Get out huge pieces of butcher paper and write problems on them. Use masking tape to tape them to the floor. Put on “Mu-Cha-Cha” from Bells Are Ringing. Start dancing the cha-cha on the butcher paper, making your feet do the math. Forward, multiply the ones. Back, bring it down. Side, the ones column by the tens. Back, down and over. Side, multiply the tens by the ones. Back, extra step, and over. On and on. Soon, your kids will be dancing on problems. Then, have the children do some multiplication at their desks. Tell them to pretend their pencils are their feet. It’s called the distributive cha-cha.


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