Change

In the same way I wake up on Tuesdays, excited it is yoga day I am beginning to look forward to Saturdays when the new #kinderblog challenge word is posted. This week the word is “Change.” Hmmmmm….. Let’s think about that one all week. Originally, I wanted to write about how our Kindergarten team time has changed due to a district-wide journey to become a professional learning community. Creating team NORMS (a written commitment we made to each other to assure our collective success) and using a written agenda to keep the focus on students and learning have changed the way we work together. This change in the way we behave when we are together has helped us to stay on task and get more accomplished. As we all know, there is never enough time to do everything, but an agenda helps us prioritize and constantly move forward with decisions that are best for students and learning. Facilitating this change has provided me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills within my team and building.

But….the change I’d really like to reflect on in this post is the perception that children have changed so drastically in the past 27 years of teaching. How often do you hear from colleagues that kids have changed? Schools have changed. Teaching is different than it use to be. Well, yes to all the above! Our whole world has changed! I’ve had to learn right along with my students how to use a computer and the internet, an Iphone, a copy machine (Remember the old hand crank blue line masters?), Twitter, and now add blogging to the list. There is one thing however, that has not changed a bit and that is a five-year old. Kindergarten still is and always will be…

Working and playing together.
Respecting the rights of others.
Being a good listener.
Expressing one’s self.
Following directions.
Developing good work habits.
Completing assigned tasks.
Keeping work area clean.
Working as part of a group.
Using a variety of materials.
Sharing.
Developing an interest in books.
Improving fine and gross motor skills.
Increasing attention span
Using new vocabulary words.
Using math in everyday situations.
Making school an enjoyable experience.

With the lazy summer days creeping toward August and thoughts of starting another school year, I couldn’t be happier that SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE.

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BRAG!

The #kinderchat13 challenge this week was just that!  A challenge!  After thinking it over all week and realizing that tomorrow a new challenge word will be tweeted, I decided to just go for it and brag a bit about my two families: my kindergarten family and my family-family.

Yesterday, my kindergarten team (There are six of us.) and their kids (Add on eight more.) came over to enjoy some sunshine and pool time. We are a unique bunch of colleagues who enjoy spending time together outside of school. Yes! We are more than colleagues. We are all good friends. My friend Becky was at a PLC conference and texting me one evening. Her roommate, who happened is a teacher in the same district commented, “Wow! You text your team? My team would never do that!” That’s just the way we roll in kindergarten. We learn from each other, support one another, and bring out the best in each other. I believe we display these qualities daily with our students and it creates an amazing atmosphere for learning.

On August 5th I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary and I’d like to brag about that. My husband Jeff and I were high school sweethearts, so it actually is more like our 34th anniversary! We’ve been best friends forever and are just like my school family. We learn from each other, support one another, and bring out the best in each other. I believe we display these qualities for our two children, creating a happy, healthy environment for them to reach their fullest potential.

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Well, there!  I did it!  I can brag all day long about my students and my kids, but seldom take time to brag about the adults in my life.  Thank you Jeff, Becky, Trina, Beth, Alyssa, and Kelli for giving me lots to brag about.