My spring break just ended. It went by so quickly! Anyways, not much to say but I did take some pictures. One of my favorite places… Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. No Instagram here!
So I woke up thinking about my childhood, especially with regards to my literacy instruction. (Yes, I am def a teacher when I think about literacy on my vacation.) Anyways, my mother was very involved in my education, as many good parents are. She believed that learning didn’t just occur at school but should also occur at home. Parents should be responsible for their children’s education. Be advocates is really the best way to say it. Well something that I remember very well in my early literacy were the Sweet Pickles children’s book series.“There are 26 Sweet Pickles animal characters, one for each letter of the alphabet and each with an exaggerated human personality trait. They all live in the Town of Sweet Pickles, squabbling and squawking, but somehow manage to get along — an important message.”
I remember reading these books and getting lost in the stories. I guess it would have been considered an early version of a reading program. There was a preschool program that came in a little green box, shaped like a bus filled with word study cards and games. I recall it being fun and enjoyed reading these books. After searching online I just happened to find their site! So nice! So now I’m thinking how can I get me some of those Sweet Pickles books that brought me back to my early childhood? The search is on…
Yesterday, I received the consent I needed to go forth with incorporation of my NFP. I jumped and screamed in my little apartment in Brooklyn. (Hope none of my neighbors heard.)
As I get closer and closer to this idea becoming a reality, I realize that my dreams are slowly coming true. I can’t wait to start investing more of my time on this project. When I talk about it with others, it gives me this feeling that I can’t really explain . This is like my baby!
Now on to thinking of tax exemption. This will be a pretty time-consuming process. No bueno! All well, I have to do this. I will begin looking for donations and setting up the website a bit more. I need all the support I can get.
I will update the colorfulteacher site with more info.
Ciao for now!
My experience with early education has been very limited during my teaching career. Although I find little ones adorable, I never saw myself really as teacher in early education. Now here I am, working in a Kindergarten class, and I have to say that I am really learning a lot about this important stage in children’s education. I have watched my students develop academically. All of my students know the early reading strategies; using illustrations to help figure out a word, break apart, stretching, etc. Their word study skills are amazing and their handwriting is steady and ready for first grade. Many people look at that and think “How amazing. Those kindergartener’s are so smart. This is what education should look like.” Strong focus on literacy and don’t forget math!
I look back on my early education experience and I remember play as being such an important part of Kindergarten. Literacy and math, not so much. I don’t feel like I missed out. Back then (late 80′s) children were expected to do what was appropriate for their age and developmental stages. For young children play is a vital part of their development. It helps strengthen social skills and does eventually help students with critical thinking as they get older.
Regardless, today’s children are expected to do more academic work rather than play. Play is considered a waste of time in school and can be done at home. I beg to differ. My students always have the opportunity to play and create. Use their imaginations. Although we are forced to do things that may not be developmentally appropriate for these students we can not take away their childhood. Their right to play!
Check out this awesome research-based case study from the Alliance for Childhood.
My last post was around the New Year, and I questioned what changes would come this year for me. Well, after much thought and discussion, this colorful teacher has decided to begin a non-profit after-school tutoring business for economically disadvantaged students in urban communities.
I thought a lot about my role in education and as much as I enjoy being in the classroom, I feel like I can also do more in this field. Tutoring and providing an after school program that incorporates the arts and focuses on play, I believe will be such a benefit for students who may not have the opportunity to receive this service.
So, I am going through the process and man is it stressful and exciting. My first victory…I got approved for the name I wanted, New Horizon Education Center, Inc. Next step is to get the consent from the NYS Education Department. I hate waiting!
I’ll keep you all posted on this new chapter!
So it is officially the New Year! What’s in store for me this year? I don’t know, but I hope all good things. I have a lot of dreams and I realize that I really want them to come true. So, in order for that to happen I need to make some big moves.
So here we go! Let’s see what this year will bring me!
What are your dreams for this year?
Check out this podcast radio program from World Crisis Radio. This portion is discussing Occupy Wall Street and the student loan crisis. Very important for us all to be involved. Our voices must be heard!
Click on the link below.
Check out this podcast on iTunes:
I enjoy going to church. Funny, because when I was younger I hated the idea of waking up early, getting dressed up, and spending hours on Sunday listening to people sing and talk. My body always felt itchy and I wanted to be anywhere but sitting in the pews. Now, as I am a bit older and less fidgety, I enjoy having that relationship with a higher power. In my new-found “discovery” I changed sects and had to visit a lot of churches to find the right place for me. I now feel so at peace when I enter my church home. It’s quite refreshing after a long week of work and play.
I talk about my connection with God (and my dear friend Jesus) because yesterday was the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Time goes by so fast. I remember where I was when I first heard the horrible news that would change all our lives. I was sitting in my first period class, a senior, and all of a sudden over the loud-speaker the principal told us a plane hit one of the towers. We of course didn’t believe it. Not until teachers rolled out TVs and showed us. The whole day we watched in shock. The most televised American tragedy.
Yesterday, on this 10th anniversary, there was 9/11 footage all over television again. Of course in a different light. Many people decided to watch. Those who lost family members were at memorial services for their loved ones. Some went to political debates that talked about the issues that arose after that event. And me? I went to church. With all the ugliness and fear that is present in our world today, I look to my religion to find some form of peace.
Now, I am not one to judge. If you are Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Bahai and all the many other religious and spiritual groups present in this world, then I respect you. If you are based on peace and love and some form of unity as a people, then I respect you. Personally, I find that reading my psalms, prayer, and attending church service really helps to center me. I thank my parents for helping me with this journey. Without them, I could have easily lost faith.
During service yesterday, something beautiful was read to us. It was an Islamic prayer for peace. I would like to share it with all of you because regardless of what religion you are or aren’t, it relays the message of peace. And honestly, isn’t that what we all desire?
An Islamic Prayer for Peace:
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations. That we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust God, for the Lord is the one that heareth and knowth all things, And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say “PEACE”.
Labor day is ending in a few hours and school will begin for many students and teachers all over the country. I teach in Brooklyn, NY and will begin on Thursday. So I still have a few more days to prepare. Am I nervous? A bit, and that’s only because I will be working with Kindergarten this year. A totally foreign world for me. I am used to my older guys, fourth and fifth graders.
Little ones are so fresh to the world of education. Will I be able to handle their tears on the first day? Will I have the energy for little ones creative play? Will I be able to stimulate their inquisitive minds? Absolutely! I am ready for it all. It will be a fun year of new experiences and growth for me and my new students. I will be working with an experienced Kindergarten teacher so I’m going to learn so much. Can’t wait for school to start.
A fresh new year here I come. Good luck to all the teachers and students!