Monday, January 25, 2010

Introducing Brittany

Last week I posted about having my second good intern. Brittany has really shown me what she's made of...she's still very quiet, but I think she will do really great when it's time for her to take my classes full time.

She's a beautiful girl who has allowed me to use a photo of her on here...please welcome Brittany to my classroom! :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm doubly blessed

So if you have been reading my blog for at least a year, you will remember that last year I had an intern named Shannon. Shannon and I had the best time teaching together. She was a wonderful teacher and I was so blessed to have her in my classroom, and to get to know her and be her friend. Shannon was so successful, and did get a job teaching, and is currently doing just that, and being a great mentor to her students!

This year I have another intern. Her name is Brittany. Brittany has been with me for two days, now. At first, Brittany appeared to be very quiet. But I have learned very quickly that she is not afraid to speak her's more like she only talks when she has something important to say. Not necessarily quiet, just thoughtful. On her first day with me, I told Brittany I was going to the restroom (SO nice to have an intern and finally be able to do that), and when I came back, she had already figured out how to use the flipchart I created for the lesson, and was encouraging the students to work the problems! She was using a really great teacher voice and was interacting with my students! Already! That is so awesome!

When we get back to school on Tuesday I will ask Brittany to write a letter introducing herself to the parents of our students, and she'll start doing other things like taking attendance, going over warm-ups, etc. The girl already graded 4 sets of papers! I'm telling you...I don't know how I've been so blessed to have two great interns, in two successive years!

I'm doubly blessed!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My head meets the wall...

We've all said this at some point in our teaching career: "I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall!!! What more can I do to help them understand this concept?!" Well, this week I think this statement has become my theme. I have taught my students how to simplify fractions (which they learned well), how to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers in simplest form, and vice versa. Then I began teaching them to add and subtract fractions. That beginning was about 4 weeks ago. This week, I began the daily torture of waking up at 6:00 a.m., preparing myself for my job, dressing professionally, putting on a happy face, and coming into the school simply to endure the pain of my head meeting the wall for 60 minute periods, four consecutive periods a day! My students have an exam on these concepts...TOMORROW!!! I have taught these precious children a myriad of ways to solve these math problems. I have given them fraction burgers, fraction tiles, fraction circles and had them make their own fractional doolollies so that they can hold and maneuver the fractions we're working with. I have put interactive fraction games on my big Promethean board and had them play these games. I have given them homework, checked it, worked problems from it, brought apples into my classroom and cut them into fractions, had them count beans, had them color blocks...I think you understand what I've done in order to try to be sure that my precious students understand fractions.

Today, I gave them the last practice problems before the exam on a piece of paper. I told them to work on them on their own. I walked to my desk to begin grading some papers I have had stacked for about a month. One of my precious students raised his hand. I acknowledged him and he asked if he could come ask me a question. I said yes. He walked over to my desk with his practice problems and pencil in hand and said............................................................................

"Can you show me how I'm supposed to do this?"

Once head and the wall have become good friends!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty Ten

I couldn't bring myself to write "Happy New Year" as my title. It's just a little too cliche for this hip woman. Tee Hee!

My family and I went to the home of some dear friends last night for a wonderful celebration of the bringing in of the New Year/New Decade. Honestly, I'm a little amazed at how many decades I've lived through. I wonder why it never struck me like this until this year? Who knows...maybe it's because when I was a child I never thought I'd live to see the 21st Century at all. I was not being morbid or thinking I would die young; it was just that it seemed impossible that I would ever be old enough to see this century (remember...this was when I was a child).

Now, on the other side of those thoughts, I'm certainly glad that I DID live through the first decade of the 21st Century, and hope that I live to see at least four more decades before I leave.

ANYWAY...I'm so excited to be a part of this world, doing what I'm doing for 2010. Just the thought that I have the opportunity (because of my profession) to change someone's life is overwhelming! I know lots of other teachers who are changing lives and I hope they know it and believe in what they're doing. Take my sister, Ashley. She teaches kindergarten in my hometown...she's in her 3rd year of teaching and she is AMAZING! I only wish that my children experience a teacher who loves them like Ashley loves her students. Or my sister-in-law, Lindsey. She teaches third grade in TN and is an amazing teacher...she writes grants, and touches those students in her class! Or my mom, Judy. She teaches math in a program here in our school district for students who need an alternative learning environment. Her students LOVE her...she gives them her phone number and you would be amazed at the number of calls she receives.

The only resolution I'm setting for 2010 is to be like one of these teachers I've mentioned above, to my students AND to my own children...a teacher who's students know beyond doubt that she loves them and believes in them and pushes them hard enough to get their very best!

Happy New Year!