I am very grateful to have a job teaching an exceptional group of students and lucky that I have such amazing, caring, supportive parents working with me as well. When I started teaching the self-contained class a few years ago I have to admit, I did not fully understand exactly what I was getting myself into. The K-2 s-c was a brand new position, and as far as I know there was not another such class (or one even similar) anywhere. Believe me, I looked! I was also fairly annoyed to learn that PVUSD was a Mac using district. I'd spent the last decade or so using a PC and felt very proficient with it. The closest thing I had to Mac experience was with an Apple IIC in the 80s. I figured Macs were for graphic designers - that wasn't me, so why waste time figuring out an entire new operating system?
After taking many courses, going to lots of trainings and constantly scouring the Internet for new resources, I learned a lot. I realized I LOVE Macs and laugh at my original closed-minded thinking. After spending five years teaching profoundly gifted learners, I would never choose to go back to a more traditional classroom. I love creating lessons around the interests and needs of my students. I love watching the students take classroom projects to a level that actually astounds other teachers and classroom visitors. (A 7 year old did THAT? Are you SURE?) Technology and 21st century learning make it all possible.
|Governing Board Meeting - March 15, 2012|
When planning lessons I try to put myself in the role of the student and think back to my own elementary school days. Like many of the s-c students I had a very hard time sitting still, got bored easily, enjoyed hands on activities and would have rather been reading a book under my desk than listening to a mind numbing lesson. Obviously not every single lesson can be a party or technology focused, and there are times when formal, written assessments are necessary. But I try to create a healthy balance so the students remain engaged, excited and enjoy learning. That is my goal.
I love incorporating contests into the curriculum because the students love it. They get excited and will put far more time and effort into an essay knowing there is a slim chance to win a prize than they would if it were just an ordinary assignment. I love having the students wear "lab coats" (actually men's white dress shirts I bought at Goodwill) when we do science experiments because along with protecting their clothing it makes them feel like "real scientists." I love incorporating technology into the curriculum because it adds a whole new level of appeal to learning and it teaches the students real life skills - email, research, presentations, collaboration, creativity and global learning to name a few. I love finding new and unusual ways to get my students excited about school and learning.
|With Dr. Lee|