Every Saturday I look forward to reading my friend Kimberly's blog, 1st in Maine, about a special moment, person, or event that has given her cause to "celebrate" during the week.
Today her tribute to her daughter made me smile, laugh, and want to share also, so I am linking up with Ruth Ayres as well!
Last week I was at that point of exhaustion and despair that only teachers who are trying to close out the school year, finish progress reports, attend data-review meetings, and pack up their classrooms can understand. I was feeling and thinking that maybe working as a coffee shop barista was a kinder, gentler, less frustrating profession.
But then two dear and long-time colleagues of mine, reminded me of all the good things that I bring to school with me every day that really can't be documented. The following observations they shared buoyed me and calmed my waters of discontent. They made me feel appreciated, and re-focused my attention on the good things that happen in Room #2. Today I celebrate Shawn and Pam, and thank them for "filling my bucket" with these compliments...
...the way you use humor to modify behavior and rhyming catch phrases to develop listening and oral language skills is so age-appropriate for your kids.
...your students LOVE books, Jennifer.....and that is because of you.
The smiles on your kids' faces when you share your music may not be quantified on a graph, but they are evidence of engaged, happy learners who don't even know that they are building language skills while they sing along with you!
There is always a lot of laughter in your lessons. You are not afraid to be silly. That makes for a happy learning environment full of comfortable kids.
You know your children very well, Jennifer. You take the time to talk WITH them, not at them. You listen and ask questions. You respect them as little people with diverse interests and personalities. You let them march to their own drummer!
These comments from my valued peers reminded me that my emphasis on teaching and reaching the "whole child," an approach that some now deem not "rigorous" or "fast-paced" enough, is one that makes for a caring, safe and positive classroom environment that young children these days so badly need and want. I am sure that none of the qualities mentioned above are on the new teacher evaluation checklist that is being implemented next year though, so I will just have to continue to "fill my own bucket" and the "buckets" of the children in my care. I will just have to know in my heart that we accomplish great things together. I will just have to continue to CELEBRATE what makes each one of us unique and special. I hope that you will too....