Roxanna EldenDo you feel like everyone is following guidelines that you don’t have? Here are some rules of teaching that aren’t in any manual — but probably should be.

Beg, borrow, steal … then adapt. Undoubtedly you’ve heard the classic teacher advice “Beg, borrow, and steal.” A better phrase would be “Beg, borrow, steal … and then adapt.” This is especially true with classroom procedures. Other teachers can share the basic principles behind their routines, but rarely can they pass on details they’ve developed over years of trial and error. If another teacher’s routines fall flat the first time you try them, don’t get discouraged. These procedures are inseparable from a teacher’s personality and are almost always more complex than they sound. Your students are different from the students of the teacher next door. Not only that — you are different. Any tricks you borrow from other teachers will likely need some adjustments before they work in your classroom.

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