• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in caring classrooms
Posted by on in Early Childhood

Ronan and Kerrigan 1024x682

How do you spell love? Literacy on little angel wings. Such joy, the most amazing learning experience of my life.

Here’s my update, year two preschool, teaching kiddos emergent skills of reading and writing, well, a lot more than that. Never sure who’s teaching whom. A day in the passionate life, so to speak. Since I wrote about the infamous PreKinder assessments, I'm into the sheer joy of teaching and learning from the kids, my best teachers. Life lessons, sometimes minute to minute. 

I walk into school, immediately surrounded by sticky fingers, hugs and checking out whether I have on my Minnie Mouse rainbow light-up watch. Loaded down with bags of mini-lessons, supplies, my lunch bag and layers, I barely make it to our little middle room to organize in about three minutes. Feel like the Pied Piper. "Good morning, Teacher Rita!"

I already told you I am really bad with crafts, so back out of the art room, big room so distracting, at home in the middle room, with all my favorite things, calendar, maps and globe, alphabet, flannel boards, our little table and chairs and loads of teaching sets, readers and books. In the corner is a huge beanbag with big stuffies and pillow. We read there a lot. And talk. And I listen.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in General

 

 

GHOJONES.jpg

 

Why on Earth would anyone do a Google Hangout with students at 7 am? Well, before you begin jumping on my case about the fact that students need more sleep and that their optimal thinking times are later in the morning, let me explain.  First, know that the class I did the Google Hangout with was in a different time zone than me. Second, I was the one in the 7 am time zone. Not them. It was 9 am where they were.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in School Culture

When I was principal of a rural high school we did an exercise to determine which students had connections with adults in our building. We had every student’s name on a list hanging on the wall in the library. Armed with colored dot stickers teachers were to go through the entire list and place a sticker next to every student in which  they felt they had established a solid relationship. The stickers began to overlap for many children. These were the students that were social, popular, and active in extra curricular activities. These students that had multiple stickers liked school and liked their teachers. There was no doubt as to their graduation completion.

As the exercise continued we noticed that there were a few, 4 in all, that had not one sticker by the name. Who were these children? How had they managed to attend our school and yet not one teacher would say a relationship was established? The information was profound. These children were at the biggest risk for dropping out. They were disenfranchised.

A plan was put into place as we determined how we could get to know and engage these children in school. Various teachers would reach out and try to get to  know these students. Perhaps they could invite them to participate in an extra curricular activity. Maybe just having a deliberate conversation routinely would make a difference. How had these children slipped through the cracks?

Did we save them all? Sadly, we did not. Honestly we were able to reach 1 of the 4 and engage him in school. The other 3 ended up dropping out. I take responsibility for these 3. Never again would this happen under my watch.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Classroom Management

stencil.twitter post 99

1. Be moderate in your approach. You do not have to be the world’s best teacher all the time. You just have to be a very good one.

2. Spend your energy on large problems first and allot less of your energy for the small ones. Choose to deal with the problems that will give you the greatest benefit right away.

3. Problems can move you forward when you choose to work to solve them. Use your creative strengths to make your classroom well-disciplined and productive.

4. Make room for more emotional energy. Ask for help when you have a problem.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning

SmallActsOfKindness.jpg

Small Acts Of Kindness

Small acts of kindness change the world. The grand deeds committed by those with means are important too, but they are not nearly as powerful as the billions of little things little people do every single day to help, recognize, and appreciate others. The longer I walk life the more convinced I am that it is the compound effect of the seemingly insignificant acts that sends the biggest ripples through the universe and alters the world most profoundly.

This morning as I was about to turn onto the expressway I always take to work a woman with two dogs started crossing the street. She hesitated seeing my car come to a halt at the intersection. I could've easily just kept turning, maybe cut her off, or maybe make it just in time, but I did not. I waited. And I am happy I did. It is because of what happened next.

The woman continued walking, looked at me through my windshield, gave me a big smile, and waved. Of course, an involuntary reflex forced a big toothy grin onto my face and I waved back. And it felt damn good!

...
Last modified on