Posted in Reflections

Second Chances…

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Many of my children come from homes without structure…Some, may even come from neglect and chaos…I have always believed children are precious and innocent…Their hearts are filled with love…Yet, because of circumstance, some can disturbed and filled with such anger….
Much of my day is teaching my children how to operate safely enabling, empowering and inspiring….

In addition, a lack of funds in Public Education and Title I schools, our resources are greatly lacking, however expectations are quite challenging, More now than ever, we must teach a smaller class sizes to be able to provide more one on one help for our children from these unstructured homes ….How the benefit of a well trained paraprofessional for the most challenged child, who may demand more of my needed time, would provide the much needed support for these children…

Moreover, our school does having a guidance counselor however, is tied up with RTI data and coordinating meetings….Because of lack of funds, those children who would benefit greatly from a strong guidance counseling program, do not receive this support….They do fall through the cracks….

Our school is not able to provide many of our children their chance…We are a family who deserves a chance to become the best!!!

Posted in Thoughts About Children

Schedules…Demands, and Teaching…

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What can I say…I have held a passion for teaching and children since 1972…Today with such unrelenting demands that sabotage teaching and the requirements teachers must follow…Knowing how it impacts my children…I do feel sad and frustrated…. I look at my precious children, with their willingness to do their best and do all that is asked…My love and passion, still holding dear not to disappoint…I do try to inspire, and make all this fun and rewarding…

My little first graders must sit all day…recess at the end of the day…Taking tests where they must have computer skills, and I will be evaluated how effective my teaching is….I can only hope that one day…We will once again do the right thing…

Posted in Thoughts About Children

A New Year…Love to Teach…

 

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Posted in Reflections

Teaching Reading….

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I have loved the joy of teaching young children to read…. It has been such a delight in seeing the   opening of eyes, hearts, and minds of my young first grade students to the written word… I have loved watching them realize they can read….There is such a look on their precious faces of surprise that they can read…

This year for me has been a quite challenging…Our school is a diverse school in a progressive district…We do have a majority of children from poverty…Our school does have a reputation, even with the challenges… We strive to maintain the status quo…  With all the demands of Common Core Curriculum and the rigors of Testing…. These challenges have been added to our many  teaching responsibilities… We struggle with the problem our children face that live in impoverished conditions…

I will always inspire my children to love to read, even with all these demands… I do feel though, no one is listening to our children…They are our future…

Posted in Reflections

Our Classroom…

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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….

Posted in Reflections

Teaching and Technology

Today teachers do need to be proficient in technology; demonstrating their expertise utilizing  all that is necessary to teach children… 

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We have smartboards that have taken the place of the chalk board;white board….  We utilize the computer to communicate with teachers, administration, and even with parents through our webpages ..Lesson plans and grades are all required to be done on the computer where information can be shared….Children are required to learn math and reading skills on the many websites that are available on the computer…along with learning to access information for  research on the computer …Keeping lists of websites and computer resources are a must for today’s teacher…

When I first began in 1972,  all I had to be concerned with was a ditto machine  and overhead projector…Even back then,  I was not comfortable utilizing  technology…And now, a teacher of today must be able to keep up with all the demands of technology…I have had to learn…

I was not a willing participant…I am a Baby Boomer, not savvy in this new technology…When I taught fifth grade, my students helped me boot the system up and access what was necessary back in the “nineties”…I was even known to take out a computer… destroy the Mother Board…My reputation on my faculty was that I needed to stay away from computers;  I was  quite dangerous…

I  am proud to say with the turn of the century in this new millenium, I have learned how to become somewhat computer literate…I am not too proud to ask for help, and I have been determined to teach this “old dog a new trick”….As I have told my children many times: “Never Give Up”!

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Being a teacher has been my mission on my life’s journey;   It is my passion… From my very beginning in 1972, I had no idea what an impact it would have on my life…  

There were other roads I could have taken, administration; guidance counseling, teaching at the college level…. All these I  opportunities to leave the classroom, but I did not choose those paths… I am a teacher…

I felt my need was to teach  and inspire  all  children, especially those children who needed my love and  safety…How that makes me feel with this choice, as a teacher and an individual… impacting children’s lives for me has been a gift…

Am I Successful in My Teaching?

Posted in Reflections

Facilitating Teaching Through Inspiration

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When I first began, I found  children were more ready to learn…They came to school in a time when lives were less  complex, and there was not a definite distinction of those that have or those that do not…I really did not have to worry so much about my creativity,  and  it was not an issue to utilize any definitive skill in my teaching…Children learned and were inspired…I could just teach and enjoy…

It was a simpler time… And moreover, this was during the  time when children of color finally were “permitted” to attend; during Integration and Civil Rights; early ’70’s…. It was understood the every child was there to learn and wanted to learn… Parents sent their children to learn… Those  were  the values shared by “all”.

Today’s world is so much different ;and  my teaching has had to meet those needs to continue to  facilitate this love of learning…Our children may not always come prepared, and not by their choice but because of some economic or parental instability in their home life…They may come to school hungry, sleepy, or ill prepared because they did not have a time to do  their homework….These precious children  live in chaos… 

I am a stronger teacher…My love for my children and passion for teaching is all that  is important… I will provide these essential  skills,  safety, and enthusiasm in my classroom  …I will facilitate their learning and love for  learning….