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Teaching Kindergarten in the 21st Century and Beyond
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Tag Archives: passion
Last week my students and I said our final good-byes to the last of our college interns in Kindergarten. During this year I have had the pleasure of connecting and working alongside 5 amazing, collaborative, engaging and inspiring people who have challenged my thinking, supported my students and have been open to being transparent in their practice which has led to some deep, reflective conversations which have benefited all students.
One of my interns had a set of interview questions for me in regards to teaching culture, etc. One of the questions was about what advice would I give to someone pursuing a career in education and what would I recommend that they do. I have continued to think about this idea for awhile now because it is really important for new people thinking about a career as a teacher.
So this is my advice……
1. Care, care a lot. You will be able to make a difference for many if you have empathy and perseverance. Take the extra time to be patient and listen. Notice how your students react and interact with each other and the culture you create and design. Be responsive and flexible to making changes that support your students needs. Collaborate to make a difference for others in the communities you teach. Through your modeling of caring, your students and their families will become engaged.
2. Be passionate. Celebrate the learning that is happening inside and outside of your classrooms. Express your excitement through your face to face, online and other opportunities that you create. Through your passion, your students will get inspired and become passionate about their learning explorations. Remember to dance, laugh and sing.
3. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and challenge your thinking. Remember as a teacher you have lots of opportunities to learn and interact. Think about how you and your students might learn alongside each other. Look for others who are doing creative and innovative things. Through others ideas, you develop your own inspiration and find your voice. You have the ability to be brilliant and make a difference.
4. Connect, connect, connect. Develop your PLN! This is vital and very important. This is where your thinking is challenged and you will connect in many ways that will turn into future collaborations. Through your connections you will develop a group of people, who like you, care, want to make a difference and are willing to make changes that improve their teaching practice. Your PLN is always there. Count on them and lean on them when you need support, want to celebrate, collaborate and need inspiration. Join online communities that promote and engage what is important to you.
5. Be transparent. It is okay to share what you are thinking and why. Through your transparency you will invite others in and share your perspective. Think about asynchronous and synchronous tools that can share the learning you and your students are exploring together. Information is important for all of us. Make it meaningful and interactive. Through your explicit modeling of sharing globally, your audience will be broad and you will connect and others will benefit from your ideas as you will be inspired by theirs.
6. Be well. Remember that what you do for your own personal wellness is important. Your wellness of mind and body gives you stability, strength, endurance and patience. Exercise and healthy eating keeps your mind and body healthy and active. Be sure to pursue your passions that recharge you and make you feel energized. Positive energy is contagious and helps everyone be successful.
I want you all to know that it has been my privilege and honor to have you in Kindergarten. I have learned from all of you and I thank you for your daily energy that you shared with all of us. I wish you all the best in your future experiences in education. I hope you will discover the magic in working with children. We need people like you, who care, ask questions, connect and smile.
Hip, hip hooray! Tomorrow I get to go to Kindergarten and celebrate the new year with my students!
I have been reflecting a lot about how fortunate I am to have so many passions and also the importance of sharing them as well as modeling how passions can lead to making a difference for others. Tomorrow I begin a new year with my Kindergarten students and I look forward to reconnecting with them and their families as we move into a new year of learning together.
Passion for me is something that inspires me and captures the essence of what I enjoy and am learning from. It supports my confidence and gives me opportunities to share my voice. As an educator it is really important for me to have passions that challenge my thinking both inside and outside of my classroom. Through my challenges I have opportunities to model how I persevere and grow.
This past year I have connected with some amazing people thanks to twitter, Skype, facebook and my amazing and inspiring PLN. I continue to feel fortunate in experiencing the value of how we can all touch others in ways we never thought possible and inspire change to happen.
Opportunities that appeared for my students, their families, others:
* my students care very much about “filling buckets”(inspired by a story;”Have You Filled A Bucket Today?”)
* students inspired and connected with other classrooms to begin to use twitter and Skype to connect
*my kindergarten students collected food and are finding ways to make a difference for others inside/outside of Kindergarten
*students experiencing and exploring how kidblog can inspire them and give them a platform to share
*students are blogging about what matters to them and then sharing with a larger audience
*students all have voices and are using a variety of tools to share what they are learning
*students are developing close relationships inside and outside of our classroom that support their ideas in regards to learning.
*students are modeling and experiencing “how to” be a safe, kind and responsible digital citizen
*kindergarten students being models for each other and problem solving
* students modeling how to collaborate and have conversations in a variety of ways that promote critical thinking
*kindergarten students discovering their voice and experiencing how to share it
*students are learning how to learn*
My students and I have had the pleasure of connecting with a grandparent of a couple of my students who has discovered how Skype can support and facilitate face to face conversations. My students have also inspired and modeled for a Kindergarten classroom in Wisconsin about how twitter can give you opportunities to “talk” to others and share. We are also experiencing together that the world is huge and amazing and how we can share our ideas. We created a map that reminds us where and how we are connecting with others. This has been amazing because it reflects who we have inspired and who has inspired us in regards to our learning.
I look forward to thinking of how I can capture, model and share not only what we are learning in Kindergarten, but how we are doing it! I strive to be intentional and explicit and hope to continue to model the importance of how much fun learning is. My wish is for all students to want to learn, to desire to know and to be passionate about what interests them. A huge task I know, but a task I welcome because what I do each day is meaningful and it does make a difference.
Transformation is important because it captures the essence of who we are and all that we have to offer. This past year thanks to my PLN I have been challenged and inspired as well as supported. My PLN is full of amazing people that I may never have the opportunity to meet face to face, but they are always available and willing to support, share, connect, inspire and challenge my thinking. I will be forever grateful for this.