Friday, August 22, 2014

Teaching with Intention: Chapter One

I am so excited to be participating in this book study hosted by Amanda Wilp from The Primary GalThis will be my second year staying home with our amazing little guy, and while I love and adore it and am so very, very thankful that we have made it work, I do still miss the classroom {however this feeling pales in comparison to my desire to stay home with the babe}. I hear this will fade after being out for a few years but that's hard to imagine. It is especially hard now, when I would be setting up my room, getting ready for a new group of eager young minds. This book has been a wonderful way to help me feel connected to the classroom still and really has me thinking about some things that I would like to change when I do go back.

We are reading Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practices, Taking Action by Debbie Miller. In chapter one she describes walking into a 3rd Grade classroom in Ohio, and oh does it sound like a lovely classroom. Here are some of the things she focuses on in chapter one.

My ideal classroom is full of bright, warm colors, full of children's independent and group work, full of engaging images and print. It draws you in and makes you want to look around at what we are learning and exploring. Every year I tried very hard to do these things in my classroom. One of the things that I will strive to be better at is organizing the literature for the students. 

When I first started teaching I was always worried that my kids were too loud when administration would do their classroom walk throughs. I knew my kids were learning and talking about academics (for the most part!), but would they? During one formal observation I apologized to my principal, and he said "Why are you sorry? These kids are being loud because they are so excited about the lesson. I would much rather hear noisy children who are learning than quiet ones." Of course there is absolutely a time and place for quiet learning, but I understood what he meant. It was a wonderful moment for me! My ideal classroom is one where the sounds of learning ebb and flow and create music of the room. 

I just love this quote! I have had little moments like this in my room, but so often I felt rushed, especially when I taught 1/2 day Kindergarten. We still taught all the academics but had no play time. Personally I strongly disliked this and felt terrible for my little babies. While I often felt rushed, I tried very hard not to let my students feel that. Of course there were times when we were so focused on our lessons/centers that I lost track of time too (aah the times I would forget to set a timer), and we would have to have "super speedy pack up!!" :) 
In a perfect world I would love to have more time ~ time to play, to explore, to learn, to chat about things, to share ideas. It is, of course, up to me as the teacher to facilitate these moments, and is something that I look forward to tackling once again when I go back. 

While I have only read a few chapters of this book so far, I am definitely loving it!! I would LOVE to hear your comments about how your ideal classroom looks, sounds and feels!! 

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