I know this blog is filled with funny, amusing and cute stories (well I’d like to think it is), but seriously, I love my job. I have my moments, just like anyone does. There are tough and gruelling times as a teacher especially during times such as the beginning of the year, report card times and parent-teacher interview times. It’s the innocence of children that get you through those times, and make you grateful to be there with them.
As a teacher there are some things that I’m passionate about. My non-negotiables are:
- Independence– children must have the opportunity to be independent and have a go at day-to-day things on their own.
- Fun– I do my very best to keep the days in the classroom fun. Kids don’t remember learning how to read, they remember fairytale days, winning a game of Bingo, playing Buzz Off, melting chocolate, making popcorn and so much more.
- Noise– a quiet classroom doesn’t necessarily mean learning is happening; nor does lots of noise mean that no learning is happening. A balance of talking and listening between the teacher and all children is most important.
- Read– we read something every day be it a book, an image, a cartoon or a novel.
- Move– children’s bodies were not made to sit still; sitting still uses more muscles than any other activity or exercise. I give the children ‘brain breaks’ during each session we are inside the classroom.
- Kindness– I model and encourage kindness at every point of the day
- Positivity– I am a firm believer in positive thinking and action. ‘Yet’ is a positive word and whenever I hear a child say, ‘I can’t do it’ I make sure they end it with a ‘yet’. Much kinder and understanding than ‘Yes you can!’ the reality is that they mightn’t be able to yet.
- Reflection– I make sure I regularly reflect on each child’s learning with them. I discuss their accomplishments, achievements and progress. I show them how much their work improves. I remind them that what they learn over a short period of time is amazing.
- Meditation– I use the Smiling Mind app in my classroom at least once a week. Children need to sit, be still and breathe deep.
- Help and support– I provide help and support to the children I teach. This does not mean ‘doing it for them’, rather, I provide them with the help they need to succeed.
- Cuddles and affection– I believe that when children need it, affection and cuddles are a must. Even just holding a hand, a hand on the back or a big smile goes a long way.