Posted in Reflections

Our Classroom…



Teaching since 1972, I have taught first grade for over twenty of those years; learning from my vast experiences with children ; to which I have acquired such knowledge associated teaching grades ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade, in addition to teaching student teachers at the college level…I have formed strong feelings about how important the first grade is, in a child’s education…

It  is my opinion,  first grade lays the foundation for learning…Especially when teaching children of diversity,  I feel it does take a strong, nurturing, effective teacher…A first grade teacher begins the process of taking  the child from kindergarten; which has the responsibility to socialize and begin  the process; into being more formal and structured…This process, not every child is ready nor willing to make…It is the teacher’s role to help facilitate this process…I feel it does take that strong, loving, structured approach…

The classroom is where this “magic” takes place… The process begins at the very beginning of the school year when you meet your students with parents during “Meet the Teacher”…This is a wonderful time to informally evaluate the children, and their interactions with parents, in  the classroom…This is where I start assessing through my observations…I can find out just in that brief interaction if they may be outgoing or a reserved  child…Questions about their likes and dislikes get answered, as well…Will they be ready or apprehensive about their first grade experience…This first meeting with the child is just an indication…Not all children get to come, nor have a parent that comes to this event…And moreover, every child is different….A teacher must be flexible to “go with the flow”…

Teaching children from diversity,  the preparation, and how I will provide the structure is essential…Room arrangement with displays with books, computers, literacy stations in writing, science, social studies, math, and ‘eye catching’  bulletin boards need to be part of this preparation to make the “room”  a warm, fun “eye-catching”, safe place to learn…

Having a strong plan for behavior management  that goes along with the school plan, must be flexible enough to  meet the needs of the children, is essential for success…Every child is different, and how I would handle these particular issues in a positive and proactive plan needs to help facilitate  the learning that may interfere with our learning and keep our classroom safe…

Successfully teaching first grade does take many hours to prepare..Much of this preparation is before the new year begins…My goal is to facilitate learning that will inspire my children to have a great year and a strong foundation in the curriculum…that will carry them on their journey; love school and learning….


Retired elementary public school teacher; all thirty-eight years in Florida... Now spending my time advocating for our children, and their right to strong public school education...With an appreciation for the arts and the beauty in each day…

2 thoughts on “Our Classroom…

  1. I am no teacher, but a perpetual student. As such, I would have loved a teacher just as you, in my early life. However, I’ve not done too badly. Teachers have done well if their students, their charges, have been inspired to follow learning the remainder of their lives.
    I was never punished for day dreaming, thankfully. But it never appears in any curriculum, at any level. Now, designers, engineers, even scientists are encouraged by enlightened employers to do just that: Day Dream, use their imagination and intuition. I can’t tell you just how important it was for me. And for Gavin and Robert, my sons.
    Of course, it has to be grounded; so that is where the empathic teacher comes in. Play is just as important as study, within the learning environment, at any age. As I’m sure you would agree. As I say, I am no teacher.
    Just a beautiful post, thank you Janis.
    Love,joy,peace. me.


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