Last year after teaching kindergarten for 14 years, I transitioned to first grade in my Title I school (more than 70% of our students live in poverty or low-income homes). Children in the primary grades are filled with such awe and enthusiasm. I particularly adore how excited they are at the littlest things that happen in school … a new fact learned, a new book for our classroom library, or even a sticker on their shirt that makes them feel proud. Their love of learning and resiliency in life amaze me every day.
For all students, but especially children of poverty, it is critical to give them love, hope, and an inviting place to learn.
My heart bursts with pride when I watch my little children thrive as they develop as individuals and grow together as a community.
Much of our day is spent on the rug – engaging our imaginations with books, developing skills by playing games, and enjoying time to just lie down and read. When I changed grades, I left behind my rug for the just-out-of-college teacher. Since I couldn’t afford another expensive rug for my new classroom, I bought a plain rug and hand-painted dots on it for each student. It served the purpose, but having a beautiful rug with designated spaces for each student will be so much better.
This cheerful rug will give every student a special place as we learn and grow together.
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