Tomorrow will be the first Halloween event I have experienced in a school setting as a teacher! Our center is holding a “sticker treat,” in which families are coming to walk their kids from room to room in order to get Halloween-themed stickers – the children and some teachers will be in their costumes. I am not really sure if the whole day will be different, or just parts of it. The event states “all day,” but I have no sense about the setup for teachers and if students might be coming and going throughout the day (or if it won’t change much besides many people in costumes). I guess we will see what the day brings!
Teachers are often showered with children’s notes and gifts – I got my first one today! The girl made it at home, which shows me she remembered who I am as her teacher 🙂 There are my initials on the paper (HG) and a heart. I am very glad that this girl in particular gave me a note because she only just started in my classroom last week. I have made an impact already, and that feels great!
Tomorrow, I start the first day as the teacher in the Pre-K room! It will be nerve-wracking, but a good chance for me to find myself as a teacher. There is a low number of kids so it should be easier to figure out behavior management strategies that work best. I’m coming in early, which will allow me to can look over the materials in the unit about Food, and make sure the centers and books are setup.
YouTube can be a great tool for teachers to reward their students at the end of the day, or show them the fun in learning a subject like math or science. I still remember that the teacher for my high school Biology class always showed a video before the end of class – they were funny animal videos most of the time 🙂 That was the first time I saw “baby elephant sneeze!” We watched it over and over until it was time to go. I had this teacher my freshmen year of high school, and I am now graduating with my masters (almost 8 years 😮 but I still recall the fun). Doing something like that makes you a teacher that students remember.
Heart-warming article going around Facebook – it is very important for teachers to get to know their students, so they can help teach to everyone’s needs. Building trust allows them to open up to the teacher about their home lives (hopefully, they won’t be a upsetting as these ones, but some might be, and you have to know how to handle it).
As future teachers, we are inclined to keep working late into the night after our field placements or class. It is important to us that we bring our “work” home and plan for the next day’s lesson by prepping materials. However, we aren’t teachers just yet and having class til 8 or 9 at night as well as teaching part-time in the classroom from 8-3 can be very stressful and tiring. Burning out is inevitable if you do not help yourself out and take a breather. Even though there is homework most nights for a class the next day, you should rest after your time at field placement on the one night we have off. There are always things coming up that you could work on, but if they aren’t long projects, you can put them off a day or two. Stress can build up quickly if you are constantly on the move and don’t let yourself relax with a fun book, show, friends, or by taking a nap. I took advantage of napping on Monday this week because I could just tell that I was utterly exhausted – my eyes were closing at about 1 pm that day and when I got home at 3, I crashed. I felt very refreshed afterwards, and like I could continue the week without struggle. Yesterday was my day without class and I made sure not to do any homework! I did my blog post, caught up on some shows, and read chapters of my professional development books. I have done work on Thursdays previously, so resting instead was a very good discovery 🙂
I went to my winter placement at the end of the term to meet my new teacher, and I noticed there were a lot of Christmas trees and decorations up in the school. I love Christmas as much as the next person who celebrates it, but this made me think about whether or not schools should have solely Christmas decor up on the walls. Not every child celebrates Christmas and there are many controversial, religious issues that come with having the holiday in educational institutions. I found an interesting article on Christmas in Texas schools: have a look!
We talk about involving all students’ cultures in the classroom, but it might be hard to connect all the Winter holidays – and what if a family doesn’t celebrate anything? How can you fit that student into the discussion? I remember when schools used to say “Christmas Break” instead of “Winter Break,” so there are accommodations like that setup already. However, many children like the excitement of talking about their holidays during December. It would be effective to have a morning meeting(s) in which all the students go around and discuss the holidays they celebrate. This will help the children understand other cultures and share some of their own family values. It is important to build a classroom community and helps if the teacher as well as students share personal pieces of their lives. There are many innovative ideas that make me think about all the worries to come with effectively teaching in a multicultural mindset. I love the values of my undergraduate and graduate school programs, but I can see the difficulty in this style while trying to follow the curriculum. Teaching is meant to be a fun, but challenging career choice – I am still wary to take over the class in Winter term while still excited to be a teacher when this program is done! 🙂