As a first-year teacher, I came into the classroom excited for a group of vibrant, enthusiastic students who are dedicated to learn. Although I was blessed to get a few students like this, much of my class ended up being students who have zero motivation for school and little support at home. My classroom consists of daily behavior challenges. That being said, my students bring joy into my life each and every day.
My students are funny, energetic, seven and eight year olds who thrive on love and affection.
I learned a lot from my students this first year of teaching. I learned many new “hip” songs, how to do the Floss dance and that Takis are a fair trade for almost anything. I have also come to realize that my students home lives tend to be unstructured and unorganized. Most of my students come from high poverty households and look towards school as an escape from their stressful living conditions. On Fridays, my students often ask me "why can't we stay here?" or say " I don't want it to be the weekend yet". It makes me happy knowing that my classroom is a place they want to be.
I work with students who come from stressful living conditions and little to no concrete structure in their home lives. Over the past year of teaching I have learned that organization and stability is crucial in order for a classroom to run smoothly. As a first year teacher, I have spent many hours organizing my classroom and testing ways to provide my students with the best learning environment possible. I hear, "I can't find it," "I lost my work," "Where is the book I was reading yesterday?," come out of my students mouths multiple times a day. I try to instill a sense of responsibility into my students, however, I know how difficult it can be and struggle with keeping myself organized within the classroom.
I see my classroom as a two way learning environment; they have taught me as much as I have taught them.
I have learned that students need structure, procedures and balance in the classroom in order to strive. I am asking for chair pockets in hope of them providing my students with a way to stay organized while giving them a sense of ownership. The chair pockets will be a place that is strictly theirs for that year while in my classroom.
Although my students came to me behind grade level in reading, they all love sitting down and diving into a good book. As I walk in and out of other classrooms and observe coworkers, I notice that those whose reading blocks are successful all have an organized and easy to access classroom library. I am asking for book bins so that I can transform my hectic library into a calm and collected reading spot for my students.
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