Be still my beating heart…

Some days you feel completely and utterly inspired, enthusiastic, empowered and excited.  Today is one of those days.  I’m well aware that not all days are like this, and it would be exhausting if they were but I’m going to revel in this for a moment.  While I do, I’ll fill you in on the events that have left me feeling so positive.

Firstly, today I recommenced teacher aide work, at a new school in a position as a literacy coach.  Doing guided reading with students from prep through to year 6.  Literacy is a passion of me.  The written word, in any form just makes my heart sing.  So, when I get an opportunity to be paid to hopefully give other children this passion, I couldn’t say no.  It actually interferes with my prac this term, but I’m determined to work it all out.  (Oh and I have 2 children too – one 9 months and one 5; did I mention I’m a little busy?!).  As I went to each classroom I was immensely delighted with the level of student enthusiasm.  You see it’s not the ability of students that particularly interests me – skills can develop and grow over time.  The desire to keep trying-  that has to be protected.  So, as I sit with each group reading, I think about how much I correct, how much I encourage, and how much fun we have when reviewing/retelling the text.  It changes with each group, each year level and each reading level.  But the need to protect that persistence doesn’t change.  Then my second last group just blew me away.  Year 5: I walk in (never having met any staff or students before today) and the teacher says to me “so, we’re doing some reciprocal work here (smile beams across my face) and the kids should pretty much know what they’re doing”.

“Oh wow, that’s fantastic – they’ll be able to give me the run down on what they’re upto then?!” I ask, and after being given a nod and smile I proceed to see what they’re upto.  They’re reading a National Geographic text – it’s a magazine of sorts, and each child has a laminated card with a role written on it.  They are literally running the show.  In the most fantastic collaborative learning I have witnessed, these kids discussed, predicted, summarised and questioned the text they were reading.  I have since come home and searched for the cards, only to find them published by another teacher on her blog.  Oh the joys of blogging!! The teacher is “Leanne Gwilliam” and her post here has the cards with the explanation.  Printable version of job cards here. It brings me to the realisation that technology such as the internet allows the sharing of work in such a seamless and immediate fashion, that educators can always present their students with the very best in resources.  There’s no reason for the students to misunderstand their role in the collaborative group – they had these presented in the most exciting cards that almost looked like “character cards”.

The internet is full of resources that make the learning experience more exciting and engaging.  Pintrest has fantastic examples of things other teachers have tried- this is key.  Nothing is just “theory” – they’re genuine ideas, with the product available to view.  Check out my Pintrest page on teaching resources that I’m collecting already – it’s a bit of a creative “diigo” with resources and photos.

I’m so impressed and inspired with what I witnessed I can’t wait to see what I get to be a part of tomorrow!!


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