How I Became The Best Teacher Ever
Becoming A Great Teacher
How did I become the best teacher ever? Well that's easy, I simply told my students that I am the best teacher ever and they believed me. Now I am told multiple times a day that I am the best teacher. Well, I may not be the best teacher ever, but I'm working towards it. Right now I am the best teacher I can be while working on achieving my goal of being the best teacher ever. There are many things to consider when aiming for this title. I teach preschool which is sometimes called child development and that is a lot different than teaching older kids, but I think you can use some of the same strategies to achieve greatness no matter what grade you teach. Here I will outline what I do inside and outside of my classroom to become an effective and outstanding teacher.
I Make Learning Fun
I'm Not Afraid Of Looking Silly
Making learning fun not only helps me create a positive relationship with my students, it also makes my job more fun and it helps me trick the kids into learning. That's right, I teach my students without them realizing that they're learning! In my opinion that is the absolute best way to teach. We do a lot of singing and dancing in my classroom, and when I say we, I mean it. I get up in front of my class and I boogie like nobody's business. My kids think it's great, I have fun doing it, and the benefits to the students are immeasurable! If administrators, collegues, parents, or any other person walks in my room, I just keep doing what I'm doing. Sometimes I invite them to join in. We are usually doing an alphabet dance, rocking out while counting, or just getting our wiggles out by doing a crazy dance. I have no shame when it comes to helping my students learn. I believe that by learning through movement, my students can put information into their muscle memory and they will retain that information for a lifetime.
We also do a lot of singing. Obviously the number and alphabet songs I mentioned involve dancing, but they also involve singing. My students learned how to count to twenty and identify all of the alphabet letters and sounds by singing songs. But we do other kinds of singing as well. Sometimes I will take a common jingle and change the words to suit my needs at that moment. One day while we were writing our morning message, my students began pointing out words that they recognized. I wanted them to be excited about their accomplishment so I came up with this song to the tune of the Farmers insurance jingle. "We are readers, bum, buh, dum, bum, bump-ah dum." I thought it was hilarious and the kids loved it. These little things make a huge difference to young children. Learning through song also helps students retain information and at four years old, it is completely developmentally appropriate.
We do so many fun things in my classroom that I cannot even begin to list them all here. I think this is one of the reasons that I will one day be the best teacher ever.
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Here Are Some Of The CD's We Rock Out To - Learning Through Movement
Dr. Jean is a very popular artist who produces educational cd's. You will find a wide variety of educational topics that the students can sing and dance to.
This album has our favorite song the Tooty-Ta on it. We dance and sing to this almost every day.
I Use A Lot Of Technology For Teaching
Kids Love Electronics
My students have multiple opportunities to use technology every day. Every student gets on the computer at least once a day. We use a language arts program that is required by my district that lasts fifteen minutes a day for each student. Aside from the mandatory stuff, my students love going on educational sites and I love letting them. I like using free educational sites so that I can tell parents about them and kids can go home and use them.
I have also mastered the SmartBoard. I have created a lot of activities geared towards my states standards for preschool and I have also downloaded a lot of activities from the Smart Exchange. The Smart Exchange a Smart Technologies website that allows teachers to upload and share Smartboard activities they have created. It's a wonderful free resource. All you have to do is create an account. There are also plenty of websites that are perfect of using with an interactive board. A SmartBoard is not just a screen for viewing movies, it is a really useful learning tool.
My classroom is also fortunate enough to have a Smart Table. A Smart Table is just like a SmartBoard except that its on a small table top and has many points of touch. You can have up to six children interacting with the board at a time. I have made some Smart Table activities, but I've found the software to be difficult and unfriendly, so recently I've downloaded activities off of the Smart Exchange. There are some really cool activities on there and sometimes my students fight over whose turn it is to use the table.
I have utilized Donors Choose to get listening center equipment. We have an mp3 listenting center as well as individual cd players with audio books. I love this center and so do my students. I purchased musical books and nursery rhymes as well as storybooks for them to listen to. They love interacting with the stories. Sometimes they sing the stories like There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly so loudly that we have to hush them up!
Most recently we've been using educational apps on our school's Nooks. We just started this adventure and boy is it fun. I think I have as much fun using the Nooks as the students do. On the Nooks they are able to learn how to form letters, count, do puzzles, read, and probably a thousand more things that I haven't discovered yet.
As technology evolves I will have to keep up so that I can give my students to best education possible. I love learning about new technology, especially when it can help my students succeed.
Technology We Use In Our Classroom - Give It A Try
Did You Have An Awesome Teacher Who Had A Positive Impact?
Did you have a teacher who you thought was the best teacher ever?
I Use Fun Materials
No Worksheets Here!
Worksheets are no fun and they are not always appropriate for child development. Hands on, fun activities are much more appropriate for young children. I love having fun and I try hard to find fun materials for my students to work with. In January we were learning about penguins so of course we read books, looked at pictures, and watched videos, but that wasn't enough. I learned how to make fake snow and I put it in one half of our sand and water table. On the other half I filled it with water and places styrofome packing squares in it as an iceburg. I put plastic penguins in the table and let my students explore the snow and water with the penguins. It was an absolute blast! We live in a warm climate and so this was as close to real snow as we were going to get! I believe that kids need these fun experiences to help them learn.
In the spring, we will make icecream using rock salt, ice, heavy cream, and vanilla. The students will learn about science without ever even knowing it! I can't think of a better way to learn than through eating icecream, can you?
I also try to buy new materials for them when I see them cheap. Kids love new toys! Sometimes I keep things hidden in my closet and get them out slowly throughout the year so that the kids think they are working with something new. It gets them excited and they learn a lot.
I really try hard to make my materials as personal as possible. One of my favorite things to do is to use my students' picture to create books and other materials. We recently read the book The Mitten by Jan Brett, and we created our own book using student images. The kids love reading their book. That's what I'm here for, to teach them to love reading. We've also made matching games, and Smart Table activities using student images. It is super fun!
Why Not Get Some Of These Materials For Your Classroom? - They're Fun I Promise
That's How I Did It
I'm Doing Pretty Well
I may not technically be "The Best Teacher Ever", but my students think I am, and that's pretty awesome if you ask me. I became a teacher because I love kids and I want to help them succeed. I have a long road ahead of me, and a lot to learn, but I think I'm making a difference and I'm going to continue to learn and grow as a teacher. My students may not remember me as they grow, but I know that I made a difference in their lives and that's what counts.