RE: Discussion 1 – Module 4
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Children need to feel safe and loved. I hope that my students can come into the classroom and know it is a safe space and that I care about them. I want them to have positive memories and build relationships. Of course, I also want them to learn, have fun, gain confidence, and grow as well! Rimm-Kaufmann & Sandilos (2022) explain that “Teachers who foster positive relationships with their students create classroom environments more conducive to learning and meet students’ developmental, emotional and academic needs.” It is not always easy as there are a multitude of varying personalities, but I do strive for this in my classroom. After they leave my class, I want them to have the skills they will need to continue to work hard and be successful in their own way. I hope they believe in themselves and know that I will be cheering them on as they continue through school.
The thing that makes me mad when thinking about my students are those that have families that do not see the significance of a good education. There is a difference between not understanding how to help and just not caring. I have had so many kids over the years that could be growing so much more academically if they just had that extra support and stability at home. It breaks my heart when I hear about the circumstances that some students are living in. However, it also helps me to understand them better. It gives me more patience and reminds me to give them grace when they are having a bad day. When a child does not have that safety or love at home, at least they can get it at school. However, I am also going to push them to try their best. It may look different for each student, but not having expectations for all my students is unacceptable. Expectations can give students stability and structure they may not have at home. It also keeps them engaged and builds confidence as they come to understand what is expected of them each day at school (Hathaway, 2015).
I get so excited to teach my students through books and activities that can open many doors into their imagination. Helping them to learn to read so they can immerse themselves into worlds of characters independently is important to me. Planning activities to give them both the educational pieces as well as the fun extension pieces is one of my favorite parts of being a teacher, even after many years in the classroom. Seeing the lightbulb turn on when they “get it” and become voracious readers (or even baby-step readers) makes me so happy! Seeing their excitement in achieving something they worked hard on is a great accomplishment as a teacher. I am hopeful that my students will take what they are learning with me and apply it to other learning, lessons, or even in future grade levels. This can be in either academics, character education, or both. I hope that what they achieve in my early childhood classroom gives them a springboard for doing bigger and better things!
Hathaway, E. (2015, December 2). How to set classroom expectations to improve student behavior. Kickboard Blog. https://www.kickboardforschools.com/classroom-behavior-management/the-value-of-consistent-expectations/#:~:text=With%20consistent%20expectations%2C%20students%20know,to%20keep%20small%20problems%20small .
Rimm-Kaufmann, S. & Sandilos, L. (2022). Improving students’ relationships with teachers to provide essential su