Here we are approaching the end of the school year. When I was in the regular classroom, this was my best teaching season. Our classroom mojo was at its finest. With the warm weather came inspiration to expand our learning space to the great outdoors. I recall the grand finale letter we sent home with the long list of dates when parents would be needed on campus. There was a particular joy and comfort of my colleagues. We found ourselves planning together more and reflecting on the years’ past adventures. The excitement of the past and future brewed.
Today, my son came home from the BEST DAY EVER. He talked about going to every second grade classroom to learn something about Earth Day. As soon as I was able to get the details from him, he grabbed the tape and a few things out of the recycle bin to make some more. As I opened my email to write his teacher thanking her for that great experience, she had sent an email briefing us on the day and how they are going to do it again with a different topic. Terrific. Now because of collaboration and creativity, my son is going to have another best day ever. What more can a parent want?
Looking back, my most favorite moments teaching involved people. Planning with my team was so fun and productive. It was a meeting of the minds, and felt like magic at times. We challenged each other intellectually and built each other up. We knew that when one of us had a great idea, everyone benefited. Our students fed off of our excitement, and parents would appreciate the great dinner time conversations of the epic projects. They loved participating and experiencing the classroom first hand. The sense of community was monumental. Everyone was a student and everyone was a teacher.
We made famous American structures for the Hospice House Gingerbread Competition
Perhaps the greatest collaboration of all time……HURRICANE WEEK. I’d like to equate the excitement of this project to shark week. The children built homes and then had to prepare them for an upcoming hurricane from goods and services provided by the community…..and map an evacuation route. During the hurricane, we cut the lights and had ice cream….so it wouldn’t melt of course! We would have never thought of this alone!
We turned our school yard into an enchanted forest for our grade level to perform fairy tale plays of their choice. Sets were made and parents invited. Even the most reluctant readers shined during this project!
With out a great team, this would not have been possible.
Behind every great teacher is a great tribe. Our human resources are our greatest assets. Whether it be bouncing ideas off of colleagues, sharing research with friends, or participating in a great PLN……..we must know that we can not do what is best for students in isolation. Our greatest moments involve the help and inspiration of others. Whether you realize it or not, you are probably inspiring someone yourself. Our peers, parents, students and community together are the perfect recipe for a great year.
What have been the greatest moments in your classroom this year?
Who are those around you that inspire you?
How can you strengthen your tribe?
What will your students always remember about their year with you?