Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Culturally Relevant Teaching

There is a great power of culturally responsive caring—“a value, an ethic, and a moral imperative that moves self-determination into social responsibility" when you realize  you matter and when you realize others matter just like you!

I matter and YOU COUNT! Everything about you is sacred because you  were created by the King of the Universe. Your design is perfect.

Here is the literacy element of Calendar Time
When a teacher demonstrates the power of caring and creates a culture of diversity in every way in the classroom, you have set up the students for success. When they come to your room knowing that they are accepted, they will feel comfortable enough to learn. It is important to incorporate this diversity in the classroom through discussions and through literature.

One of my favorite parts of the day when I taught first grade a few years ago was Calendar Time. We used the SMART Board for this. It took about 25 minutes to go through each of my slides. It was my favorite part of the day because I incorporated holistic teaching into every element. We talked about the date, the weather, current events, literature, math, telling time and celebrate birthdays and teeth falling out. It might seem to you to be just a simple thing but there is a lot of thought that went behind all the elements I put into calendar time to point out holidays and their special meanings, to point out current events using first grade language and to find the special parts of each child and celebrate them with them in 25 minutes.

I did this because it was a great gathering time and a great opportunity to tell each child how special they are. We even had one child a day, I call them our Friend of the Day to come and help us during calendar time.

In the beginning of a school year, I send this out to parents. I come back to this. Mattering. No matter what, mattering is the agenda.

Philosophy of Education:

YOU MATTER! You have a genius in you that is unique and special to you! I celebrate that! I will teach in a way that promotes growth through play and learning.

Mission Statement:

I as a professional educator recognize that each child is an one-in-a-million, never-seen-before individual, that all children are creative and that all children can succeed.

Therefore, I will respect the individual needs of children for whom I have the sacred honor of working with which includes but is not limited to the following: fostering a caring and creative environment as well as emphasizing the social, emotional, physical, intellectual development of each child.

I believe that each child has a genius and a passion special to them. I also believe that passion with compassion creates world changers.

I believe that great things can accomplished through cooperation between school, community, parents, and students.

I believe you matter!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Super Teachers

So, for I love to read month, we have had certain days where we needed to dress up. Today some of us dressed up as SUPER TEACHERS. Now, let me state my case! 

We have amazing X-Ray vision 
I can see you and yes, I do have eyes in the back of my head. I know you looked at his test! But I with my amazing XRAY vision, do try to see you..see right through you to your heart to understand who you are and how I need to teach you better.

Have you seen our awesome gizmos we get to use?

In the past 20 years, I have rocked the ditto machine, the RISSO machine and all sorts of copiers. Now that I am trying to have a paperless classroom, not so much. With all the tech my eyes have seen and my hands have touched, I am thankful for recent gadgets like ipods, ipads, cell phones for BYOD. I am thankful for all the apps I have had to understand to make teaching "easier." Gadgets and gizmos galore...and I can't wait to see what I will learn about  as time moves forward!

We have the power of elasticity! 

Committees, grad school, PLCs, team meetings, differentiation, SAT, long hours and extended evenings, parent phone calls and conferences, a meeting here, a meeting there..that is what the AVERAGE teacher does. Yes,  teachers do it. We do it because we love our job. We have a drive and a passion for it all. We have grit. We are stretched like Gumby some days. That's the way it is.

We light fires and are the protectors of the eternal flame. 

You can't start a fire without a spark and we spark interest in so many areas of learning for students and ask them to go above and beyond their imagination. My real job is to be the cultivator of learning. To prepare the soil for seeds of learning  to land and to water the soil. Then my job is to keep that eternal flame lit. Keep watering...let the seed keep growing.  In this world of boundless knowledge and many ways to find it, it is an exciting and daunting task to keep it all going!

The M stands for MOM. I am a SUPER MOM! 
Above all this,  I strive to be a SUPER MOM and a SUPER TEACHER. To do this, I have to recognize my true power and my true power is the LOVE OF LEARNING.  The way I use this super power is by going to edcamps and by learning from my wonderful PLN. I read a lot of books about being a teacher and about parenting. My learning is my drive. I try to learn something new each day.

So, to all the SUPER TEACHERS out there, I salute you! Way to go!!! I stand with you and celebrate your journey in this profession! Its not easy...but it is one of the best jobs out there!