Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here, Take This Meme!

I didn't have time to blog this morning because I had to work all day, and since I am almost to the end of NaBloPoMo, skipping a day isn't an option! So, please, take this meme! Its a rather good one, called My Turn/Your Turn, created by the blog Every, Every Minute: Realizing Life While We Live It.
The way it works is, this blogger posts a question or problem each week, along with their own answers and opinions. (That's their turn!) Next I post my own answers or opinions, and then you can either comment with your answers or opinions, oir start the whole thing over in your own blog!
So, here it goes.

TheirTurn: With a daughter in kindergarten, I’m constantly amazed at how quickly and how well she is learning. She started the school year being able to list and identify the letters of the alphabet, and able to write her name. Now she is sounding out words, recognizing about twenty words by sight, identifying the authors of books, and other amazing things. This is, in large part, due to the fact that she has a wonderful teacher. Eva’s teacher makes kindergarten a blast for the kids and the results speak for themselves.
I am happy to be the product of public schools and state universities. I had a lot of great teachers throughout my career, and I’m very thankful for that. Now that I’m a teacher myself, I see so many echoes of my previous teachers in what I do. On the last day of before Thanksgiving break, for example, I took the last 15 minutes of each class period to play Bingo with my students. They could win “valuable prizes,” choosing from a box of stuff that I’d collected from around my classroom. Props from old plays, used binders, a few new pencils, some batteries that I never used, etc. This is all because I had fond memories of my high school match teacher letting us play bingo before breaks. She also brought us milk and donuts, though. I guess I’m not that cool!

My Turn: Throughout my childhood, I had many good teachers, and many horrid teachers. There were always the teachers who were creative and accepting, and enjoyed having me in their class because they thought I was a unique kid. On the other hand, I had a lot of teachers who were very strict, and who seemed to hate me because of my messy desk, tendency to lose or forget my homework assignments, lack of social skills, etc.
One of the best teachers I ever had was my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Fraser. ALthough I still had a messy desk, forgot my homework, got low test scores, and had trouble making friends in his class, he always treated me as if I was his star pupil. And in hia opinion, I was a star... Uniqueness and diversity was very important to Mr. Fraser, and it often seemed almost as if he had handpicked some of the school's oddballs to be in his class... the two boys who were Jehovah's Witnesses and barely ever talked, the outspoken girl with the learning disorder who often got in trouble for arguing with the teacher, the 13-year-old Shiek boy who became a leader in our class, the boy from Brazil who didn't speak English, the boy who cried all the time... and me, the crazy girl with the wild curly hair and no friends. Mr. Fraser would often tell me, "You're one of the strongest kids in this class." He recruited me to help out with other "oddball" kids on the playground, including the younger children from the special ed class. (I think thats what first inspired me to want to be a special education teacher!)
I probably managed to learn a little bit of English, History, Mathy, and all that in Mr. Fraser's class. But I also learned to hold my own in a game of Deathball, to cover up my yawns and fake like I was paying attention even when class was boring me to death (He actually taught a lesson on that particular survival skill!), to love diversity, and to be proud of being different.

YourTurn: As you look back on your education, can you indentify which teacher(s) had the greatest influence on you? In your opinion, what qualities made them a great teacher?

(P.S... You can also come visit my new personal blog, All Day Her Dreams...)

1 comment:

Clubbs said...

Thanks for playing, and for the link!

What a great tribute to a great teacher. It sounds like he realized that sometimes it's more important to teach life skills than what's coming up on the next test.

Again, good to hear from you! Hope you'll come back to my blog soon.