Dragonflies in First is having a super cool linky party about the best advice you ever received as a teacher.
I can honestly say that this is a job where I'm constantly learning. So many other teachers have AWESOME ideas that make me a better teacher. I'm excited to hear what other people have to give for their best advice.
The best advice I ever received was to think about when to pick your battles, especially with those behavior problem students. Of course, you need to be consistent with your behavior plan. But sometimes the key is knowing when it's important to fight the battle and when to put it aside until a later time.
One of my current students can be very noncompliant, specifically with writing assignments. If the work is starting to become a battle and he's getting more and more noncompliant, I have 2 choices. I can force the issue and let the battle escalate while the other students keep working. This isn't really win-win for anyone.
Or I can I say ok we're done with this task for right now. Sometimes the other kids aren't done (but I consider it a free pass for them since they were working) and I stop the task anyway. I tell the student that we'll finish the assignment later. The key is he doesn't get out of the work, but it just goes away for the moment. I switch gears to another activity (hopefully something he'll want to participate in) and drop the battle.
Then when there's something that I know he wants to participate in (like recess, centers, something else fun) I bring back the unfinished work. I let him know the work must be done before XYZ can be earned. It's amazing how much more motivated he is when there's something he desired right in front of him!
Some things just aren't worth the battle. If a kid is going to fight you over washing his dirty face (or some other trivial thing), let him have a dirty face. My goal every day is to get as much academic work and instruction in as possible, which means being consistent and not letting problems escalate if possible.
What's the best advice you ever heard?