Feeling like a real teacher

sols_6Today was one of those days when I felt like a real teacher again.  I was not just the mean lady in the front of the class working to get everyone to learn something.

The morning began with a group of community volunteers who came to visit and talk with my students about their jobs, what education you might need to do their job and just provide motivation for continuing to go to school and do well.   I thought I was going to have two people and ended up with about six.   The six were quietly powerful.  A dad from an organization called Mad Dads ( Dads who have been in jail and are working to make a change in their community),  a couple judges,  a human resource director for the school system, the lead for the after school programs and a woman who works in purchasing.

My students listened, ask wonderful questions and shared parts of their lives that most of us have not heard.   They sat and talked with this great group of people for an hour and half.  They did not want them to leave.   They enjoyed the conversation and the chance to talk deeply about things that matter.

We moved from this discussion to working on our science projects – measuring plants, replanting,  and recording data on changes to the environment they had set up.   They asked if we would have time to read Woods Runner because they needed to know what happened to Annie, the young girl whose parents had just been killed the day before in our reading. Read for 20 minutes as a whole group so everyone would know that Annie was ok.  Then walked quietly to lunch.

My afternoon class went much the same way ( minus the guest speakers).   The students were eager to read, worked to measure and record the growth of their peas, asked questions about rooting plants and how plants make their own food.  They created a science experiment as a group to test if peas would grow better with sugar water or regular tap water.   ( Since plants make sugar to feed themselves).   We had a full day of learning.

Not sure what happened  today but I will take it – this is why I began teaching –  learning at its fullest!    Community involvement, hands on learning and minds on thinking.

Yes to teaching!

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Feeling like a real teacher

  1. mag says:

    Congratulations…it takes planning, skill and dedication to create a learning environment like that.

  2. Super, great day. It is so valuable for students to have insight into the bigger world.

  3. Wilcox Carol says:

    Love days like this! It feels so good when kids are excited about what is going on in the classroom! Here’s to many more of these!

  4. This is one of those days you want to bottle, isn’t it?

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