(To the Left & Above): These two images represent how I hope my students feel when entering our classroom. I envision that if you came to visit, you would see the students engaged in play to learn about the content.
(Above): A picture of me at a young age. I would always pretend to be the teacher when I would play "school" with my younger cousins. I guess you could say I was meant for teaching!
Maya Angelou stated, “the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud”.
I believe this relates to me as an educator and me in the world. When students enter my classroom, they will know that they are loved, safe, and brilliant. My classroom is student-centered, built on their curiosities about themselves, their community, and their world. I am an educator who believes that reading, writing, math, history, and science can be woven together to create a multi-learning space for my students. I hope my students learn to love learning as much as I do and see that you never stop learning even as an adult. I hope they know that their teacher will always encourage and support them through their growth. Ultimately, I hope my students know that as young individuals, they can be the changemakers; they, too, can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. I believe that community is important and necessary for students to be successful. Getting to know my students is a major part of my practice, which includes getting to know their families. I believe that working with the families of my students means we are on the same team with the consensus to support and encourage their children. Individuals are influenced by the people they are surrounded by; that means in order for students to want to learn, they need to feel a sense of belonging as well as trust that their teacher and family has their best in mind. It takes a village to raise a child and I know that involvement from families can greatly impact a students’ growth and learning. At the start of the school year, I will have daily check-ins with individuals as well as conduct empathy interviews with their families to find out the ways that I can best support their child in my classroom. I am a product of my caring teachers, specifically my second grade teacher, Mrs. Chadwick. During my time in her classroom, my family was dealing with a significant loss and at eight years old, Mrs. Chadwick sought to know my family and me on a deeper level. Looking back, I see how Mrs. Chadwick was doing the same for the other individuals in her class, which she so selflessly did after school hours. She did not expect me to complete the work she assigned, but asked that I just show up every day ready to learn. She created a safe space, a way for me to leave my family’s hardship at the door, and just learn. It was because she met me when I was 8 year old, that I continued to love learning and desired to ultimately become a teacher myself. I aspire to be a teacher who loves her students where they are, through what they’re going through, and who they will become. It’s about daily meeting each child where they are emotionally, physically, and mentally. When you enter my classroom, you will instantly hear noise from students’ voices. Students will be working all around the classroom, collaborating and engaging with one another on the activity. I believe students learn best when they are working together because they are able to engage in discussion with their peers on their learning. They can build on each other’s knowledge and understanding while challenging their own ideas. I hope that this will help shape their own thinking and beliefs to become the changemakers. For example, in the first six weeks of school, students will develop something, I learned from my mentor, called heart promises. This will allow them to immediately take agency of the classroom culture they want and need. These heart promises will be them deciding as a community how they want to treat themselves, each other, and their school. A heart promise could be as simple as “have fun”, but it is theirs to create and decide as a whole what our culture will be like in our classroom. It will be what we refer to throughout the year whenever an issue arises and it will allow us to be on the same page for how we’d like the classroom. My classroom is not just mine, it is every individual who enters the doors and it is built on the community inside of it. My philosophy of teaching is rooted in community, love, and playing. Playing is learning, and as an elementary teacher, playing is important for individuals to learn as well as is much needed throughout a school day. As stated before, writing, math, reading, history, and science will be intertwined in the content. Through project-based learning, students will be able to build on their curiosities, explore through hands-on activities, and discover new or familiar places during fieldwork. I aim for ways in which students can be positively challenged to expand their thinking and be in a growth mindset. Students will learn how to express their opinion and ideas through partner talks and class share-outs. I believe that students need to have the space to express themselves orally and in written form such as their daily journals where they can write creatively or express emotions through their writing and drawing. Students will learn that their writing can impact the world, by providing space for them to create their own stories, opinions, and informational writing. Students will be able to use tools and strategies to help them solve math problems just as they would in the real world. Students will immerse themselves into imaginary worlds when listening to read-alouds and learn how story-telling is passed through many generations in different cultures as a way of communication. Students will learn how to advocate for themselves and their needs as well as speak up for those who may be silenced by the majority. They will explore the history of us. In sum, my classroom will be a place where past, present, and future students can come through the doors and feel both welcomed and loved. Students will learn about the history of us, explore their curiosities through play, and discover new and familiar places in their community. My classroom is a place where students are able to express who they are, where their voices and individuality matters. My classroom is a place where students begin to grow in their love for learning in all subjects. My classroom is a place where students feel safe, loved, and brilliant. Love is at the center of this classroom where students learn how to be their best selves in order to be rainbows in someone else’s cloud.