Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Teaching With Intention - Chapter 2

The thing I liked best about this chapter is that it made me think - about my teaching, my classroom, my students and how they all are an integral part of my beliefs and philosophy. Being able to articulate your beliefs and philosophies is no easy task. I have taught a total of 16 years and I find that my beliefs and philosophies are not static. They have changed as I have grown as a teacher.

My Beliefs and Philosophies Presently:
  • Every student is unique. From their looks to their experiences to their learning styles, from their ideas to their senses of humor, every child is different. And that is GREAT! 
Celebrate your students' learning diversities!
Don't you just love these adorable faces!!!
  • Since cookie cutter students do not exist, no packaged program is going to meet everyone's needs. I must find what works best for each student to help them grow as both a learner and as a person. I like when Debbie Miller says. "Real life is not scripted. Neither is real teaching."
  • Learning needs to be fun - period - no need to say more on this one.
  • It's okay to make mistakes. Each year my heart goes out to my students who break down when they make a mistake. So when I make a mistake, I like to actually point it out to my students so that they learn that even adults make mistakes and that the world will not fall apart when they do. Then we brainstorm on how I can correct my mistake or if I can't, what other choices do I have. 
  • My classroom is designed for my students - not for me (although it does make me happy), not for parents  - but for my students. It needs to be a place that they enjoy coming to for 176 days out of their year. 
  • When I teach something new I like to make it as concrete or tangible as possible. I like to use manipulatives, models, and find read alouds that aid in the teaching of the concept.
  • Getting to know your students is crucial for them to feel comfortable and to be willing to take risks. I send home a "Getting to Know You" sheet to parents at the beginning of the year that asks lots of questions: siblings, pets, favorite food, favorite song, and so much more. My kinders think I'm magical because I will use the names of their sibling or pets in a conversation and they have no idea how I know. Haha!
  • Patience and persistent are key to a successful year. Just as students are all different, so are their learning rates. Some find their wings in October, while others may need until February to take flight. 

  • My door is always open. Some teachers fear their principal or administrators coming into their rooms. I welcome anyone in my room. I have a saying I use. "Come on in because I am always doing what I am supposed to be doing." There is always some type of teaching or learning going on in my room. Sometimes I am the teacher and sometimes the students are. We may not always be "textbook" learning though - sometimes we are learning to be a good friend or a good person. I have had board members stop in to stay a few minutes and then hang out in my room for half an hour as they listened to students sharing their "little books." I read Greg Smedley-Warren's post before I began mine and I like how he is going to challenge himself to teach with his door open this year. Go for it Greg!

Something to Grow On:
I like to share with my students that it is great to learn new things. Some things that I would like to work on or develop are seamless transitions to maximize learning, a thoroughly cohesive curriculum with clear purposes, and finding the best way to blend traditional teaching with technology since we are now all teaching digital natives.


Be sure to check out the posts of the hosts for Teaching With Intention - Chapter 2:

Mrs Dailey's Classroom              Photobucket           The Primary Gal

and of the book study coordinator:

The Kindergarten Smorgasboard

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