Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two Days Left for My Students


I have written a short, personal 'thank you' note to each parent fot their help and support during the school year, for there are two days left for my students and I to be together--well, actually, a day and a half, as on Tuesday, the school day ends at noon. I am still giving pre-classwork and homework--am I crazy? I intend to keep them occupied until the last minute of the last hour of the last day. One of my favorite last day activities is having my outgoing students write a letter to my incoming students. I also left some items for them to tear down off the wall--for they LOVE doing that! Many of my students will not read this summer, but here is a good fourth-grade summer reading list here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Teacher Who is Not a Big Fan of Move-Up Day


Tomorrow, starting at 5:30 PM the lower school takes part in our annual Move-Up Day. In our school, the children do not go to their new teacher as some schools do; they just have a ceremony of sorts. Of course, as an educator, I am pleased that my students worked hard to be promoted to the fifth grade. However, I just can't get excited about move-up days. I am not a big fan of unnecessary ceremonies. When I went to school there were no 'move-up' days, consequently when I did graduate I felt a strong sense of accomplishment. It seems to me that when you have ceremonies like this, you devalue a real graduation event. That's just my thoughts...perhaps this year's ceremony will change my attitude towards them...but I doubt it.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

If I Had the Funds to Start a School...


I did not realize that my teaching philosophy was grounded in social reconstructivism until I was in grad school. If I could, I would start a 'Green School'. Of course, the school would focus on basic academics, but I would hire the best 'green' engineers/teachers to educate students about sustaining a 'green' planet. I am so disheartened at the continued abuse of this planet. If it continues, we will need an army of people to fix the damage done over the last 50-100 years. I feel as if we are not doing enough to fix our mess...or we are doing it too slowly. After all, what is the point of putting so much effort into teaching students when it is very possible that the planet we live on will become unsuitable for human life? I was happy to find out that The New School offers an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. This summer I may take some free classes on 'green education' which I found at this link: at Suite 101.