Posts tagged education

An Example of the Power of Student-Teacher Relationships

Some of you that have been around for a few years may remember that when I moved to Florida, it was because I had been hired to teach 2nd grade.  I had been so excited and did so much to prepare for teaching 2nd grade.  We had an extended school year that year, so school started 5 weeks early with a week off and then restarting when the rest of the district was starting.

The extended year decision didn’t sit well with everyone, and many families used the school choice option (only extended because of the extended year) and after 5 weeks of teaching 2nd grade, my admin decided we didn’t have enough 2nd graders and I was moved down to prek.

I have never bonded with a class so quickly as I did those 2nd graders.  They are now in 5th grade and still stop me in the hallway for a hug and to complain that they wanted me to stay their 2nd grade teacher and that they wished I didn’t have to leave them.

One kid in particular has enjoyed making appearances in my classroom, at my lunch table, behind me at dismissal, just about any time he could find to come see me.  It tapered off a little in 4th grade, but still more often than any of the other kids.  He’s always been a little impulsive and much too talkative, but he has quite a vibrant personality and great character.

Now that 5th grade has started, the 5th grade boys hormones have begun to kick in, they have realized they are the oldest students in the building, and vulgar language, disrespectful actions, and physically fighting has sprung up everywhere.  Unfortunately, my friend has been one of the ring leaders and I was shocked at what I was told he had said and done.

One day during rainy dismissal, all my kids were done and I saw him sitting with his class.  I asked his teacher if it was ok for me to have a little chat with him.  I took him away from his peers and told him how I’ve described him over the years to other people, how proud I have always been of him, and how confident I have been that he will grow up to not only be successful but someone who is kind and a role model.  I told him what I had heard about him this past month and how very sad I was to find out he was doing this.  Then I told him how much I cared and how much I wanted him to still be the kid I had always known him to be.  Sure, more mature and interested in other things.  But always a gentleman who helped others and worked hard.

I’ve been told he’s been much better.  When he started to put a toe out of line, another staff member who knows about my relationship with him (but not my recent chat), said, “You know, I can go get Ms. PPT and send her to you and I will cover her class.  If you want to keep doing that, then you should be able to explain why to her.”  I was told he looked shocked and was an angel for the rest of the day.

This kid was in my classroom for 5 weeks over 3 yrs ago.  But I never stopped being one of his teachers or one of the people in his life who cares about him.

specialbunny asked:

Top six children's books

I’m going to assume you mean Children’s Picture books.

1. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems   -  This is my favorite series to do read alouds with.  They are a hit every year and really excite the kids about listening to books — often better than some of our weekly books.

2. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr - toddparr is one of my favorite Children’s authors.  His pictures are colorful and I think subtly tell children that you don’t have to be able to draw things exactly right and they always have a good message.  This particular book is helpful for students that are afraid to try/fail and kids that get really upset when they make a mistake.  Such a great conversation starter.

3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin - The book has a good rhythm and the kids love to chant it.   It is excellent for introducing upper and lower case letters.   The secret sneaking off to the top of the coconut tree is a little bit of an adventure that gets kids excited.

4. There’s a Monster at the End of This Book by Mark Smollin - another great book to do as a read aloud with voices.  The kids laugh so much and will ask to hear it again and again.  Someone donated this to my classroom this year!

5. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendack for obvious reasons

6. Imogene’s Antlers by David Small - This was my favorite book as a kid and I memorized it and took it to class and told everyone I could read.

I would recommend any of these for gifts to young children or to prek-1st grade teachers. 

So I’ve tried to write this post about being a teacher and my reactions/response to Ferguson about 15 times. Each time I do, it just comes across wrong to me. So I’m going to try to really boil it down.

Things I do well:

  • finding diverse books especially books with characters that are of the same culture/race as my students
  • I stayed after school with a former student who is often categorized as an angry black kid (but has a lot to be angry about and is actually an awesome kid) when his ride didn’t show. I stood up for him. Latino Police Officer was a total jerk to him and made fun of him for not knowing his dad’s phone number.  I calmed the kid down and had him stand up for himself once he was calm.  Police officer looked pretty embarrassed when the kid said the reason why he didn’t know the number was because they kept getting the account cut off and new numbers so frequently (common with families that don’t have a lot of money).
  • Trying to learn Spanish and use it with my Spanish-speaking parents.
  • Writing letters to representatives on topics such as stand your ground and militarization of police 
  • Encouraging my admin to hire people of color
  • Respecting parents’ decisions to opt out of the sheriff program that finger prints children to make identification papers if the child ever goes missing

Things I could do better:

  • be more involved politically - more letters, phone calls, letters to the editor
  • be a better listener
  • read more on race-related topics
  • donate to organizations that support equal rights 
  • I do stand up to white people making racist comments, but I could be better prepared for when it happens… I mostly just see red and my heart starts beating really fast
  • expose students to people from their race in different professions ie: field trips, speakers, and books
  • stand against trends like an alarming rate of referrals for black boys within the scope of education
  • get more books reflecting Hatian culture or characters
  • attend protests

Questions I have as an educator (some are really just more frustrations than real questions):

  • In relation to the police, I teach pre-k.  We usually teach our students that police are there to help.  How do I continue to tell them that considering current events? I feel like a little bit of a liar.
  • As a white teacher of an entire class of students that are black or latino, what am I blind to that I should a) be aware of or b) be doing?
  • What can I do better in relation to my students’ parents?
  • What are the best ways to teach tolerance at a young age (we teach Conscious Discipline and the Hands are not for Hitting Series and I try to do it during teachable moments, but I feel like there could be more)

I’d love to hear your reactions as educators.  Anyone’s ideas or suggestions are also welcome.

And now, final exams for kindergartners. Really. - The Washington Post

washingtonpost:  Love you guys for covering this, but did you realize we also have pre and post tests for our Pre-K kids (ages 4 and 5) many of which are part of Head Start?  Head Start students in Florida are typically very poor and do not speak English at home.   Then we compare them to kids from high economic families who also take the VPK to evaluate programs.  

First Impressions

Friday was orientation for our Pre-K Parents.  Most of the parents from my class came and also brought their children.  The children were all very well-behaved during the super long and boring presentation that we have to do.  I felt like this: While the parents were filling out paper work, one of the active (but not misbehaving) boys was making it hard for his mom to get the paperwork done.  I called him over to me and we had a long conversation about cars and by the time his mother was done with the paperwork he was laying on the bench I was sitting on with his head in my lap.  

Then there was a little girl who kept on coming over to give me hugs and kisses.   She is also in my class.Later in the afternoon, I got to watch all of my students from last year come in an inch or two taller and find their new classrooms during meet the teacher.  Not going to lie, I totally charged them all and gave them the biggest hugs.  Got lots of hugs and kisses from the moms as well.

In the afternoon, one of my ESE kids came.  He had just been registered that day.  I took him to see the room.   He walked up to my alphabet poster and said, “A - apple, B - Ball…”  while pointing to letters.

I am so excited about tomorrow that I don’t know that I’ll be able to sleep.

 

Need a planner for the year?  I have two for sale on my TpT site.  But if you are willing to pay me via Paypal, I’ll knock $2.50 off the listed price for you.  These images aren’t as crisp and clear as the actual products.  Please feel free download the previews before deciding.  Please e-mail me if you are interested in making a purchase (you pay less, and I make more if done through paypal).  Positivelypt@gmail.com

If you like what you see, but already have a planner, perhaps considering pinning them to one of your pinterest boards to help me get more exposure.  Thanks!

image

pencilblots replied to your post: Staples, 17 cent notebooks, Florida No…

HOW DO YOU KNOWOWOWOW?

pencilblots

I use this site to track back to school sales.

You can find out if your state offers a tax-free weekend and when it is here.

It is important to note that if the item usually goes on a crazy discount during back to school sales, you’d save more by waiting.  So this weekend I am only buying things that are on the crazy discount list.  

PPT's Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Hey #education friends!  I have a TpT store, but I always offer to sell them via paypal to Tumblr friends at a lower price.  I don’t have a paid account on TpT because I don’t make enough to even cover professional account.  So TpT takes a cut from each item I sell.  If I sell it to you via e-mail and paypal, I make more money and you pay less.

I just put up the 2014-2015 Teacher Planner I made and use.  I will sell it to you for $6.00.   Please e-mail me at positivelypt@gmail.com if you’d like to make a purchase outside of TpT.

Last year I used proceeds to purchase some items for my classroom.  This year, I will use it towards replacing items that were damaged or disappeared in my house flood.

Thanks!

Back to School Sales 2014 | Walmart, Target, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot

This site is great for comparing back to school sales and staying on top of who has what when.

I’ll be heading over to Staples for 17 cent notebooks.  I give each child one at the end of the year to use for summer.  I buy them know while they’re cheap.  

There are currently elementary, middle and high school English positions open in my district. If you are interested in moving to southwest Florida in the next two weeks or so shoot me message.