I am a Teacher: What's Your Superpower?




Yesterday I was notified that I was in a video that my school district showed at their "First Day Back For Teachers."  My first thought was: Geez I am retired and I am not even there to see it, but many of my colleagues sent it to me so I was able to view it. There were clips of many teachers doing their job and I felt very fortunate to have been in the first few minutes of the video in which it showed me working on the rug with a very special student, since he lives right down the street from me and his mom was a colleague in the district.  Yes...It was a privilege and honor to be a part of this very inspiring video to say the least especially since I am no longer a part of the school district.  It actually made me feel like maybe I should be teaching again.  However, when I pondered upon that feeling or thought, two words came to mind...NO WAY!  Yes, I LOVED teaching and could not have chosen a better or more inspiring profession, but after 34 years, I figured it was time to move on and just have the memories of a job well done...no regrets...fun times...touching lives in many ways and not just students, but parents, colleagues and others.   Although teaching probably is one of the most difficult jobs, it is definitely one of the best jobs in the universe.  You have the ability to touch others in a magnificent way...you touch minds, feelings, academics...you nurture, support and help students and families...you give advice, share good and not so good news, you go to work and are on for 6-10 hours a day depending what you take home with you, not to mention that feeling of did I handle that situation correctly, did I do my best, did I help that little one, should I call the parents, should I forget about it???

So, yes, I am very happy that I am in the video from the opening day, but more importantly, it shows just how important all teachers are not matter what you teach or have taught, teaching will always be apart of your soul forever...so...I pass the baton on to all of you. Make the best of each day you teach because you are SUPER!!! Wear your Superman shirt with dignity...you deserve it! (I just wish I had one!!! I guess I retired a year too soon..oh well...I have to bloom where I am.  I will just have to settle for being a retired Superman!!)
Kathy

This video is also linked on my page...ENJOY!
http://vimeo.com/104542670
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Bloom Where You Are

Today has been an interesting day for me.  The teachers from my district (my former colleagues) had their first day back.  I have to admit...it felt a bit strange not going back to school today so my friend, who also retired last year, and I decided to go to breakfast to celebrate our new found freedom. We chose to go to the Llanerch Diner and we were seated at the booth in which Bradley Cooper sat in when filming "Silver Lining Playbook."  Well that in itself was a great way to start the morning. As we left, the owner said," Did you enjoy sitting in the same booth as Bradley Cooper?"...to which I replied, " Yes, but it would be a lot better if he were sitting with us!" Of course I was kidding...well sort of kidding. I mean it really would have been nice to sit with him, but that, I would say is pretty much a mute point.

So...my new journey begins and it begins with a quote from Joel Osteen, "Bloom where you are!"
Yes, my friend and I have to "bloom where we are" and do the best we can do in our new venture. But, all the teachers that are going back to school this week should also bloom where they are!  They have been given the rewarding responsibility of some new smiling faces and yes, you...the teachers... are the ones who have to be their teacher, mother, psychologist, nurse, friend, listener, comforter just to name a few of the "hats" you will wear this year as a teacher. With this new beginning, feel fortunate to have the opportunity to make a difference in your kiddos' lives. "Bloom where you are," make the best of each day, bring back the fun in learning and have fun while you are teaching.

My Upper Floor team had a blast last year making the best of everyday and doing our best in all the roles we played.  Some of us dressed as snowmen for Halloween, 100th Day old women for the 100th Day of School, dressed as an insect when teaching insects(and the children made insect headbands),
dressed as clouds when we taught clouds and even hugged a skunk! Yes, we did BLOOM and the children loved to come to school everyday to see what might happen next. Did they learn? YES. Did they have fun while learning? YES. Did we have fun teaching? YES WE DID!

So, I challenge every teacher and actually everyone to bloom where you are and enjoy the journey...there is only one! Kathy





 
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Tips for the Beginning of the School Year...with more to come!

It is already August and, if you teach on the east coast, you are probably beginning to think about how you would like to set up your classroom for the new students who will walk through your classroom doors in a few weeks and perhaps you are thinking about some new ideas to try! Now, this year I am really not thinking about my classroom since I am now, as they say, "a woman of leisure," but I need to face the facts I will NEVER be a that!!!  My mind is always churning and coming up with ideas!  So, when my daughter said,"Mom, I am so excited that you are retired! Now, you can help me set up MY classroom!" Yes, I am presently helping my daughter set up her classroom!

So here are a few tips for you as you begin your journey back into the classroom:

  • Remember to allow the children to take ownership of the classroom by saving some activities, decorations and ideas that they will create with your support to be used in the classroom.  This will make them feel like it IS their classroom.  For example:  Children can create their own name tags to use on lockers or cubbies.  They may also like to make "people" ( I have done this for years) where they decorate a blank child template to look like them. After the templates are run off on card stock and decorated, they can be laminated.  Hot glue a clothespin on the center with the child's initial or a themed foam sticker and you can use these to display work all year long!



  • Another important tip, that should be practiced on the first day of school and continued throughout the year is to greet each child at your classroom door everyday. As they walk in try to think of something positive to say to each child. YOU will see positive behavior changes if you try to do this every day!  A smile and compliment can go a long way!  Saying good bye to each child with an "elbow shake" or high five is also an important part of teaching!  This makes each child feel special!

  • The last tip for today is to try to make a positive phone call home within the first 2 weeks of school. I know that this can be a difficult task with all that needs to be done, but this WILL make a difference! Think of yourself as a parent: you are nervous about your child going to first grade and just think how "little Jimmy or Doris"feels. Receiving a positive phone call and I emphasize phone call NOT e-mail can set the tone for the rest of the year and it will make it much easier when you have to call for other reasons.

Here is a snapshot of my Communication Log that I use to keep track of phone calls. I run off one for each child. You can find this on my TpT and Teacher's Notebook Stores in a bundle called:


So get your mind in gear...it is almost that time of year!!!

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Ideas for Classroom Set Up

Calendar with our Roar Into Learning Theme


Front of the Classroom


Writing Center with a Fancy Nancy Word Wall for using more colorful words.
Fancy Nancy Word Wall
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