Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather. The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always. I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed. This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!
Give EVERY Child the Opportunity to Succeed!
Once Upon A Time..........
I don't know about you but there are many days that I spend reminiscing about being a young student. The memories that are the most clear in my mind are the ones that I wish that I could erase. In first grade I remember thinking that my teacher didn't like me and that I was (the "S" word) stupid. I'm sure that she was just frustrated with me because I was a struggling reader. When you are six you do not realize that you are not meeting grade level expectations, you just sense that you are less than. I felt as if I was being buried. Don't fret friends...... this is a success story! I am now an educator and a Reading Specialist! There were also many teachers that would come to support and counsel me into believing that I could rise to any occasion! There is still one teacher that I correspond with multiple times a year and he still encourages me!
A Daily Reminder
This photo collage is taped up inside my classroom so that it is the first thing I see when I walk through the door. During the school year I teach first grade. On the left is me in first grade, the center is my daughter in first grade, and the right is my husband in first grade. I try to treat my students as I would have wanted to be treated, as I would have wanted my family treated. AND in case you're wondering.... It was not purposeful to put my daughter in a mock turtleneck and overalls like my mother did to me!
Start the Year With a Positive Attitude!
Teachers are insanely busy! Challenging students consume our time. It doesn't matter if the challenge is student behavior, academics, or medical issues...... it takes extra moments from our day to deal with all of these extra challenges. Problem solve ahead of time so that you can breeze through those moments. My advice is to collaborate! I'm sure that your colleagues have copies of their behavior calendars, intervention paperwork, and notes that they've sent home previously. Change the electronic document to reflect what you need and move on! Teachers are naturally creative, helpful, and look out for each other. BUT we can't help one another if we don't know the need is there! Ask for help!
Take A Glimpse Into The Future
Here I am reflecting and sharing things that happened to me as a first grader. What will be said about you? I want all of your students to come back and tell you that they were a success because of something YOU did or YOU said! Educators have the ability to empower students. We can make them believe that they are a super hero writer, a rock star reader, a master mathematician by using positive speak. We can design lessons that meet the needs of different kinds of learners. Make sure that you allow your students to sing (yes, even the high school students), move, and play (hands on activities). Don't be afraid to differentiate! Maybe certain students can only handle 10 addition problems before they get frustrated but others need 20. The students will come back and thank you for allowing them to sing a rap to remember fractions, climb around on the floor to remember animal movements, and for caring so much that you gave them classwork that met their needs. Your actions and words will stay with these children just as they have stayed with me...... so please....... choose them wisely!
What Do You Remember?
Please share! What do you remember from your childhood? Who was your favorite teacher? Why? What activities do you implement? How do you address the students in your class to make them feel empowered? I'm so excited to hear from you!
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