Monday, July 26, 2010

me as a learner...

I just returned from my vacation in Florida with my wife, Shannon, and mother-in-law, Sharon, and did I learn and reflect a lot. We had a fantastic time laying around on the beach, walking on the beach, swimming, a lot of leisure reading, and other relaxing things. One interesting parts to the story is we are all educators; therefore, a lot of our conversations as we laid around was on the topic of education. Shannon teaches 5th grade, Sharon is a Speech-Language Pathologist and then there is me, the Kindergarten teacher...this ended up being a wide spectrum of views on various topics.

The first thing I learned was patience with Shannon spending a week and half with her mother in a 2 bedroom condo. The second thing I learned and reflected upon was the idea of a team. Shannon reminds me of where children need to be by 5th grade (on a daily basis) and her frustrations with how far children have gotten and some who still have difficulty reading, writing, or working on math. Sharon then brings up the point of communication disorders and the special education side to our discussion. The constant variable in our discussions was we need to keep children at the center and continue to focus on their individual needs. We came to understand, which we all knew and reaffirmed, was it takes a team to work with each child and to have children become successful. One saying which comes to mind is "Rome was not built in a day" and I also think Rome was not built by one person. We talked about the team of teachers (general education teacher and special education teachers even if the child is not identified) and adults and other children who could be apart of this team to help children succeed. We all agreed family plays a key role in helping children succeed. We see kids for approximately 35 hours a week (in my case I only see kids for about 14 hours a week), but they are home 128 hours week (I did not subtract sleeping from this total); therefore, family plays a huge role in your child's education. We all agreed it is our job to educate your child and to provide interventions for further instruction or enhanced instruction, but you can help provide a link from home to school with various things because you are part of the team. Helping provide a link from home to school can include playing simple games, reading to your child aloud, talking with them, running around in a park, etc. The three of us agreed we want to provide a team approach and work together because you know your child best (especially in my case since I may be their first teacher and W-T will be their first school). I look forward to knowing them and learning about who they are as the year moves forward! I am looking forward to working with each "team" to help provide the best education for your child! One of my goals is to provide the best education and experience for your child to help them become lifelong learners.

The third thing I learned was take time and enjoy life. I was able to read leisure books along with professional books and have some great discussions. As I write this post I think about the times I have read to my niece and nephew and the discuss the book (it is always fun to listen to a child's perspective).

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!

If you are interested here are some of the books I read: Little Bee (this was one of my favorites) by Chris Cleave, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, The Art of Racing in the Rain (a perfect book for anyone who has a pet...its sad, but FANTASTIC) by Garth Stein, and House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

As with me the rest of this summer will be continuing to learn!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Half Way There...

I was thinking about this coming school year today and it came to me we are half way to the start of the school year. I always get excited about the upcoming school year. I am looking forward to meeting the new kids and helping them grow into learners. I also get excited about working with parents in helping their child succeed. I then become nervous about the year because we have a new building and all new procedures; however, we get to learn it all together!

I am sure you are beginning to have mixed emotions about the upcoming school year as this may be the first time you are leaving your child at school! It is an exciting time of your child's educational career as the learn social/emotional skills along with academic skills. You may also be wondering if there is anything you can do to help prepare your child for September 7. A few things you can do is have your child write their first name, recognize the letters in their name, recite the alphabet in various speeds, count sets of objects in less than 5, read to your child and have them sit and listen to a book (5-7 minutes), and practice buttoning/zipping their shorts/pants. You may be thinking this is a lot, but you can do this in short time periods, at the dinner table, in the car, etc.

I think we will have a fantastic year and I look forward to seeing the smiling children and their mom, dad, and other family members September 7!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!  I know I am.  I just returned from a fabulous trip to New Orleans.  I was able to attend the National Education Association Representative Assembly.  It was a great time working together with educators from across the nation.  Stay tuned for a post regarding what occurred!  In a couple of weeks I get to head down to Florida for a vacation with my wife.  We are headed to Anna Maria Island.  It is about an hour south of Tampa.  I am sure I will have a funny story to tell when I always seems like something happens!
If you are doing anything exciting or visiting some great places (even in the State of Ohio) please share!