As June is now here and the end of the year gets closer and closer, I find myself reflecting on my first year in Grade 1. It has been a terrific year, and I love seeing all of the growth in my students. It is amazing to see children that could only read simple pattern books now sitting down to read the newspaper (see the video at the bottom of this post), or students that could barely write a sentence now writing entire stories. These children are not only learning, but are also seeing themselves as learners and developing an intrinsic drive to want to learn more. I have the confidence that they will continue on in their education and accomplish whatever they want in life, as they are not just motivated by me but by themselves.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the rest of my class and listening to one of my Grade 1 students read The Velveteen Rabbit. When I grew up, my mom read this story to me, and now I was listening to a six-year-old read it to me again. What was amazing was that this child captured the attention of everyone in the class, and as she read, naturally discussed the connections that she made to the book, shared her inferences with others, and even asked some questions too, I thought to myself: students may be the best teachers of all!
So thank you to my entire class for teaching me that you can do anything, and letting me see the real value in letting you teach others too! I’m proud of all of you!
You are an amazing educator…I wish you taught in my district!
I agree with you! Kids can be the best teachers, and letting them feel empowered, as you have, creates a fabulous learning environment! Kudos to you!!!
Thank you! What a lovely comment. To be honest with you, it took me a long time to really give students control over their learning, but when I did, I was amazed with the results. I’m glad that I gave my students this independence, and that they continue to surprise me with just what they can do.
I’m thrilled that I get to collaborate with someone like you (even if not in person) as I continue to refine my teaching practices! Thanks again!
Congratulations on a wonderful school year. I liked this remark very much: “These children are not only learning, but are also seeing themselves as learners and developing an intrinsic drive to want to learn more.” In my opinion, the root of so many problems in education is that children do not see themselves as learners. As the wife of someone in the newspaper business, I appreciated the fact your students were reading the newspaper, even in a tech-rich classroom.
Thank you so much for your comment! I also think that students need to see themselves as learners, and if they have this intrinsic drive to learn, then they will continue to want to learn too (even if the material gets more difficult).
As an aside, I do love technology and love using technology in my classroom, but I’ve always gotten three newspapers delivered a day, and I see real value in having this print media in the classroom too. My students love it as well!
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