Postcard #32 “The Five Essential Key Secrets for Success in the First Grade”

Posted on September 16, 2012. Filed under: Postcards | Tags: , , , |

Thirty-nine days into the first grade I feel that I better understand “The Five Essential Key Secrets for Success in the First Grade” (I’m so trade marking that!). To even take this new understanding further, I believe my “TFEKSFSITFG” are relevant for life outside of the classroom.

We read about how Saguaro cactus grow and change- so we did an art project and wrote about what we learned. Informational writing was never so much fun!

Secret #1: Do things in small but purposeful chunks.  Five and six year olds need short and easy directions. I’ve learned that if I give too many or long-winded directions things can get out of control very quickly (insert your worst case scenario here). This sounds so self-helpish but short, easy steps really do add up to success. This doesn’t mean that you get out of having to do things that are hard, you do, you just break whatever you have to do into easy breezy Parcheesi steps and before you know it, you’re done!

Secret #2: It’s okay to take a moment or twelve of them. It helps me to relax, to not freak out- whatever. I especially like taking a moment with my head on my desk (I’m usually banging my head, but that’s okay). This really works with first graders- it mellows them out (no banging heads for them) and gives me a chance to find that stupid math book I put down. Turning out the lights works well too.

Secret #3: Have a sense of humor and remember to laugh at yourself… a lot.

Secret #4: Be organized- but don’t spend your entire weekend doing it. I know knowing where things are  makes life so much easier but don’t sacrifice fun. And no, hanging stuff up on bulletin boards is not fun, even if you tell yourself that it is. Maybe if you combine the hanging with a cocktail… but you might fall off the ladder and that’s definitely not fun.

Secret #5: Have a really good stapler, pencil sharpener, bra, whatever… If it makes your job easier, buy it, use it and for heaven’s sake, get on with it.

So there you go…I’ve showed you mine, now you show me yours… What are your secrets to success, happiness or whatever in your job and/or everyday life?


A huge part of 1st grade is learning the names of the months and days of the week. There are songs which teach both, ask me nicely and I’ll sing them for you!

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