May 16, 2016


I have a lot to say. I hope you're listening.
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Follow these steps to walk with your walker:

  1. Push or lift your walker a few inches or an arm's length in front of you.
  2. Make sure all 4 tips or wheels of your walker are touching the ground before taking a step.
  3. Step forward with your weak leg first. If you had surgery on both legs, start with the leg that feels weaker.
  4. Then step forward with your other leg, placing it in front of the weaker leg.

Repeat steps 1 through 4 to move forward. Go slowly and walk with good posture, keeping your back straight.

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We are down to our final few weeks as hard as that it is to believe. I want to thank you for your support of my decision to retire & the very thoughtful sentiments you have expressed. I was touched because I felt like even though it was hard for YOU to hear, you were still very supportive & understanding of ME, so I thank you for that. Telling you was much more difficult than I’d anticipated, but I do feel your support & know you haven’t seen the last of me yet! I know you are concerned about just the right person/fit being selected, & we understand that & have every confidence that EME will be well taken care of! Again, I do want to reiterate how much I have appreciated my time with you at EME. This is a great campus with incredible people, & I hate to sound like a broken record, but I truly truly have enjoyed working with you & will miss being a part of the electricity & energy that makes EME unique! Great things are in store for EME – I believe that to my core & hope you do too!

Thanks again for your dedicated work for STAAR testing last week & for your efforts to make our building conducive to testing. You really pulled it off, & we thank you.

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Important Information this week!

· Thanks for supporting Jar Wars this week in support of Cystic Fybrosis & our own Emily Williams. Your support means a great deal to her family.

· Summative conferences have been completed. Please make sure that all evaluations have been signed through Eduphoria.

· We want to send one final parent newsletter this week. Please make sure you have emailed me your grade level’s highlights. We are working to put the newsletter together this week for distribution hopefully on Friday. IF you haven’t turned in some articles/bullet points/highlights of the year, please do so TODAY!

· I’m working to add a Vocabulary Parade to our May calendar for Tuesday, May 24th …watch for details.

· Our last Eagles of Character Celebration will be held on May 26th

– If you haven’t turned in your names to Sandra, she needs those TODAY!

· As you begin working on tentative class lists, please follow the precise format that I will send out so that they’re done the same way - this helps provide continuity with that system. PLEASE do NOT promise parents a particular teacher – we need to be very careful with that.

· If you have end of the year certificates for me to sign for our end of the year awards, please get those to me when you can.

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I am saying “Goodbye” to Teaching

So this year has been one of ups and down. Good and bad. Learning and exploring. This year has been a year of reflecting and understanding what my calling is. I am saying “Goodbye” to teaching in the traditional sense of the word.

What do I mean when I say I am saying “goodbye” to teaching. Am I leaving the profession? No. Am I looking for jobs outside of teaching? No. I am just going to be teaching in a different way, approach teaching and learning in a different way.

How am I saying goodbye to teaching? I am saying goodbye to worksheets, powerpoints, and teaching for standardized tests. I am taking my classroom, my style of teaching, and passion in a different directions. A direction when shared sounds a little like Project Based Learning(PBL), a little like a flipped classroom, and a little like traditional teaching. My goal is not just to teach. It is to explore the realms of learning, it is to meet students where they are, it is to motivate, evaluate learning, to do different and unique projects, it is to encourage, and most of all it is to foster a love of learning.

My ideas come from my frustration with teaching resource and newer ideas for learning such as interactive notebooks and technology in the classroom. Yes, those are great ideas, but something I learned is interactive notebooks while they can be effective can get just as monotonous and boring as worksheets for students. In my classroom I want us to jump, sing, dance, research, and write. I am not sure about other schools, but here the writing process is not taught. Many of my 5th graders didn’t know the process of publishing your final draft, they could barely brainstorm and then we expect them to write 3 paragraphs really? I have a song for the writing process we sing. The highlight of my 5th grade reading/writing groups week was when we got to write: we started with research and went all the way to typing on the computer, that was by far their favorite. They enjoyed the singing and dancing and websites like flocabulary for social studies. They enjoyed the movement. Teaching needs to allow the students to explore and research and expand their knowledge. If we are working on FDR, and they research him and it links them to the New Deal, let them move onto that, then the TVA, if it is exciting and they want to keep learning do not keep it in a box for this assignment or that, let them explore and learn, in a safe way of course. If we are studying WWII read a diary of Anne Frank, let them talk to a Holocaust survivor. Here in Spartanburg there is a company with part of the Berlin wall, when studying the Cold War I would love to take my kids there, let them see it in person, touch it, feel it, ask questions, research and learn more about it. They need to fully understand what its significance and importance are. Let them talk to the company about why they have part of the wall. The more they learn the better. We have standards, yes but let’s make those the minimum and let the curious nature of our kids shine through, let them be kids and learn and explore.

So next year, wherever I end up being, in a classroom, in a different role. I am letting my students explore, they have guidelines and standards but I am letting them run with it, letting them ask the questions on field trips, letting them write and type. Letting them be in charge of their learning. Let them dance and sing. Let them sit on the floor, let them lay down, let them sit on beanbag chairs, what works for them let them be actively learning. Let theme explore their curiosity.

Teach outside of the box. Don’t fall into the worksheet slump we all fall into, and be creative and innovative. Be who you are and let that shine in your teaching.

Are you going to say goodbye to traditional teaching? Say goodbye to the standard and teach to the exceptional. Make your students and classroom stand out. Make you students keep the desire for learning.

4 Days Ago by teachersamantha2

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Monday – Happy Birthday Suzanne Morgan, PTA Luncheon, Bogo Book Fair, Jar Wars Starts, Kinder Round-Up 6-7, ALI Board Recognition

Tuesday – Final Fire Drill of the Year, Evening with the Experts – 6-7:30 Chisholm Trail HS, Bryan teaching in 5th grade

Wednesday – 3rd grade Kickball game – 8:30, District Employee Service Luncheon @ HCTC, LIINK meeting – 3PM

Thursday – Bryan teaching in 5th grade, Honor Choir performs at Bass Hall 6PM

Friday – Wear Purple Day, 7-11 – Presentation for grades 3-5 – 8:00, Last Day for Clubs – 1:45 – 2:30, NRH20 for Honor Choir, CARE team meetings

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· Kelli Shipp is to be commended for the way she organized our testing. Her attention to detail was spot-on & ensured that our testing went off without a hitch. THANK YOU KELLI for all you did!

· Let’s hear it for our paras who have done an amazing job for us this year: Angela Cathey, Tammy Ledbetter, & Becky Hogue are each in a class by themself! They are appreciated more than they will ever know!

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