I accept the responsibility to be the best that I can be.
I will put others first and practice kindness and respect.
I will work hard, even when I don’t feel like it.
I won’t give up when things get hard.
I will exceed expectations.
I will never say never.
I will succeed.
The 3rd grade students at BE recite these words every morning before we begin our school day. In my classroom, I work hard to instill these words, and the attitudes that they profess. It is not just an empty creed, it is our mantra, and as a class we point ourselves and our colleagues to it repeatedly throughout our learning process. My third graders are with me on this. They love it, actually. They do not let me forget to recite it each morning.
My students are mostly from low income families that struggle to pay their bills. Some are from a cycle of generations of people that did not go to college, or even finish high school, and struggle to find and keep jobs. Some are children of teachers, oil field workers, farmers, nurses. Many of their guardians are unemployed
As a result of the pandemic, we as educators are seeing widespread issues with student development in all areas including emotional, academic, and social areas of life. To help my students learn amid the pandemic I could use tables in my classroom. I believe that these items will help my students collaborate together thus engaging them socially, helping this aspect of their development. Being apart for such a significant amount of time has caused delays in my students learning to communicate effectively with others. I believe them sharing space in this way will give them extra practice in this vital skill.
I also believe that tables will jump start collaborations on our school work, which according to Vygotsky’s social learning theory is an important part of the educational process.
He believed that we first learn through interaction with others. These tables will promote that interaction. I also feel that collaboration helps my students take ownership of their learning. During this time where so many things compete for my students’ attention, they need a motivating factor to help promote retention of the skills, strategies, and information they are required to learn, and I am so desperately trying to teach. I know from experience in the classroom that collaborative work is a great motivator.
Tables seem like such a simple item, but I believe that tables in my classroom will make a tremendous impact in my students' development, both socially and academically.
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