Having a conversation with a former student can be an eye-opening experience. It’s a chance to see what “stuck” with the student – what lessons or activities were memorable, what was liked about my class, what was NOT liked. (And now that they are no longer my students, they usually feel more comfortable sharing these thoughts.)
As a junior high teacher, I have gotten to hear how some of my former students are adjusting during freshman year. I have had a chance to talk to some as they are making some big decisions their senior year. I’ve even ran into a few who have graduated from both high school and college and are now working as adults.
Hearing about the paths they have chosen and the experiences they have had since leaving my classroom are important to me. These conversations are reminders that teachers are given a unique opportunity. They get to be a part, if even just a very small part, of each student’s journey through school and beyond.
I’ve been busy working in my classroom to prepare for students arriving next week. There is so much to have ready and get done, but I always make sure that I have healthy green plants around my classroom by that first day. Since I started teaching, I have had plants in my room. I love the look of the bright, green leaves and feel that plants are an instant sign of life in the classroom!
I have absolutely loved my summer break – lots of time spent with family and a chance to enjoy the sun, the water, and some free time. It is also so nice to take a break from my normal routines at home and school.
Someone commented to me that it must be really nice to have an actual “end” to the past school year and be able to start over again each fall. This is important – not just for the teachers, but for the students, as well.
I really do appreciate the chance to step away from my regular responsibilities for a while. I feel like I can start the school year with a new perspective. I can have a fresh start.
I’m on spring break this week and am loving the opportunity to read. I finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult and have started The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. I also requested Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, from the library.
Hard to believe that there will only be seven more weeks of school after I get back from break. The year has flown by and there’s still so much I want to do in the classroom. Time to enjoy the last few days of break before getting back to school!
I had the opportunity to participate in STEM training on Friday and loved it! The instructor provided lots of hands-on activities for participants to complete. It was great getting to try out the activities rather than talk about them. It was a reminder that students learn so much more by doing, instead of just discussing a topic or watching someone else. I left the training with ideas that I am excited to try in my own classroom.
If you are interested in incorporating STEM activities in your classroom, check out the Taped Towers activity I posted. It is a simple and engaging activity that my students enjoyed.
I really love dissecting frogs with my students. During dissections, students are enthusiastic, interested, and engaged. So many of the things we have discussed, read about, or viewed online can actually be seen by students right on their dissecting trays. It was the perfect activity to include during our study of the body systems!