Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Empowering the Future

First day back is always a fun, exciting time at the Creek.  Each grade level meets over the summer and prepares a skit according to our theme.  No 3-hour boring meetings for us on the first day back!  This year,  we walked into the Dining Room with each place set with superhero paraphernalia.  As usual, the skits were funny and irreverent.  My favorite was a Gov. Rick Scott look alike as a villain because of all of his educational budget cuts - I'm not talking politics right now - just saying...  I am pleased to say that my spirited Kindergarten Team won the skit challenge with their Kinder Superheroes Saving the Day and each kinder teacher will enjoy a $50 gift card at Target!  Woo Hoo!  After enjoying the skits, our Principal presented her own little superhero, her two-week old baby, to thunderous applause!  Now that's a way to bring a tear to your eye - seeing this newest addition to our Chets Creek family all dressed like a little superhero - in a tutu!

The Principal then introduced our hero of the day Lester Laminack who spent the rest of the day with us, making us laugh and inspiring us with so many thoughtful reflections of our current practice.  You know a speaker has made a difference when you actually see change in your building.  His messages validated much of what we are doing but some of his thoughts also hit home at many levels. 

I know for the kindergarten class next to me that they were moving furniture out away from the walls to get more of their work at eye level for kids - one of Lester's many, many suggestions.  As for me I bought into the idea that we should use our 5th graders as reading heroes to our kindergartners.  I e-mailed the 5th grade language arts teachers to ask if they would have their 5th graders draw a picture of their favorite book from kindergarten.  They loved the idea and so I plan to feature photos of different 5th graders holding up the picture of their favorite book on the bulletin board outside my classroom. 

Lester also talked about letting your students know about your life as a reader and so I decided to put outside my door, "Mrs. Timmons is reading..." and to write what I am reading as the year progresses.  This is something we used to do but have gotten away from this past year.  I am hoping teachers and students will see it and ask me about what I am reading.  I want to have conversations with students and adults about the words that make a difference in my life.

It is so exciting to come back to school and be inspired -to have your thinking lifted, especially before you begin making decisions that will influence your entire year.  Thank you Lester for a remarkable, thought-provoking start!

No comments: