I was recently reading a book by Pernille Ripp, the creator of the Global Read aloud, called Passionate Learners: Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students. She asks questions like ” Would you like to be a student in our classroom?” and she sets the tone for giving ownership back to the students. It’s not how the classroom looks, but its how a classroom feels when you walk in. And I asked myself, “how does my classroom feel to students?” I began observing how my students came in each morning. I could tell they were happy when they raced through the door, ready to start. Or smiled as they walked in. When you walk into our classroom, you will see students engaged in their work, and excited about their learning. This year, I’ve done away with the extensive worksheets, and really began to enjoy teaching. The space I’ve created allows for flexibility, and areas to work with groups, partners or independently. I’ve created a welcoming space, inviting people in with a wallflower that smells like pumpkin spice. It has a homey feel with the addition of another kitchen table I repurposed and painted. This is used in our Maker’s space for the students to create and invent new things. We are learning to work as a unit.
One piece of learning became evident this week when we read The North Star by Peter H. Reynolds. He is the author we are studying in this year’s Global Read Aloud. we learned that we are all on our own journey, and this year, our first grade year, we are on this part of our journey together. I am on a quest for excellence, focusing on my own professional growth, my successes and failures, and my constant need for patience, persistence and support through this journey. While my students are on their own journey to invent themselves, I am reinventing myself. I can’t wait to see where this journey make take us.