I love for students to come into my classroom at the beginning of the year and say to me “I can’t do math”. Or “I hate math!” I take these statements as a personal challenge. I look at these children with their defeated attitudes, and it inspires me to prove them wrong. I know that by the end of the year, one child, who can’t do math, will do math; and that little girl who hates math, will begin to love math.
I have had students who suffer from extreme poverty, abusive parents, or absent parents. I have had students who should be on medication for ADHD and were not because of money problems. Some other students of mine have been gang members, drug users, and emotionally disturbed. The one significant thing that all these students have in common is that they all learned and succeeded in my classroom.
I know that I cannot control what happens in a child’s life after he or she leaves my classroom, but I can control what happens in my classroom. It is not just my job but also my pleasure to provide a safe and encouraging environment for all students. I want my students to feel accepted and to take an active part in his or her education. I start each new school year building a family relationship in my classroom. As a class we emphasize that every one of them has a light within themselves and that they have the right and responsibility to shine their light. As a class we recognize our strengths and we help eliminate our weaknesses.
I think that an outstanding teacher has the ability to find a child’s light and cultivate it so that it reaches its full potential. I teach my students through hands-on and minds-on engaging lessons. One thing that I am so thankful that Wesleyan taught me was how to create these lessons. Wesleyan taught me that I don’t have to teach with a textbook. I could use the textbook as a resource, but I could use my knowledge of the skills to design these hands-on lessons. I make it a point to meet with every one of my struggling students everyday. I know each student’s weaknesses and strengths. I believe that great teaching is about 30% lessons and 70% attitude. If you have the attitude and passion for education, you can educate any child.
In 2009, I was super excited to win Teacher of the Year at my former school, Webb Elementary. Afterwards, I went on to win Teacher of the Year for the entire Arlington Independent School District. In 2010, I was nominated for the AWARE award funded by the Arlington Education Foundation. Not only was I nominated, I won the AWARE award for the best 5th and 6th grade teacher in the entire district. In 2016, I won Teacher of the Year for my current school, Pearcy Elementary.
In 2014, I wrote a grant that supplied my entire 5th grade with chromebooks. This year I wrote another grant that supplied our team with an iPad cart and 30 iPads. My goal is to become completely paperless. Because I also believe in journaling, I have not transitioned the journal to a digital forum.
My goal for this blog is to provide lessons and activities that will engage learners while teaching them in a fun and innovative way. I hope to provide links and pictures when available. I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions! Please follow me on twitter and pinterest for more technology and math related posts!
Peace, Love, Math- Jennifer