I remember, as a young child, being enamored with school, often watching as my friend went off to kindergarten, and I, sitting sadly by my window, being told I was too young and needed to wait until the following year. Silently sneaking out of my house, I joined her as we walked to our neighborhood school. In short time I was discovered as the extra child whose name was not on the roll call. In due time September came and I began my schooling. Through many high and low points in an uneven education, in an era when memorization was the standard, I never stopped wanting to "know" things. My road to where and who I am now had many detours along the way; marrying, raising two children, and then going back to school so that I could fulfill my dream to be a teacher.
My inquisitiveness has held me in good stead. I am a lifelong learner because I have a deep rooted need to make sense of my world in all its domains. I have many questions, more than answers! My sense of wonder and inquiry, my wanting to know and understand has definitely influenced my teaching philosophy and style. Young children may look to adults for answers, but more often than not their learning is influenced by opportunities to explore, experiment, practice, visit and revisit what has piqued their interest. Immeasurable times I have seen my kindergarten children problem-solve through these hands-on opportunities, allowing for their social-emotional and cognitive skills to develop. Although constraints over scheduling and curriculum may hinder flexibility and spontaneity, in my classroom, teachable moments are embraced, whether it is Endeavour flying overhead, or Felix Baumgartner jumping out of an airplane. The student in me remembers the excitement of discovery as I set aside my lesson and work with my kindergarten class to see what answers to their questions we might find.
To this end I have to acknowledge the many remarkable people I have found on Twitter, who are guiding and shaping my teaching, veteran teacher that I may be! My growing PLN, through the varied chats I have joined (#kinderchat in the forefront) and the blogs that I follow, are not only reaffirming my core beliefs, but at times, challenging me as well.
As I reflect on what I have written, the student in me has never been stronger than now, motivating me to share in this way, my thoughts in my first blog, as I continue to learn. Instilling in my students the desire to learn, would be a wonderful legacy from this educator and student.
Faige says: I am a kindergarten teacher, with over 35 years of experience, at an Independent school in Southern California. I have taught toddlers, threes and fours. My work has given me many opportunities to observe children, and it is unbelievable what I have learned from them! Along the way, my journey has transformed me; as I have asked a lot from my students, I have also challenged myself as an educator. And, now, here I am participating in #NaBloPoMo!