I am a retired teacher now, so this year will be a bit different, but I still would like to share with you the things I do at the beginning of the year. (I will be volunteering at the school this year, but I won't have my own classroom.)
I think it is so important for students to know who the teacher is, not just as the classroom teacher that they will be working with throughout the year, but as a person who has a life outside the classroom. Whenever we can create a connection through stories and experiences, we can develop trust, caring, and positive relationships with our students. Sometimes this may take extra work, but I do feel that we can make an impact on all of our students.
Most students return to school filled with adventures and stories that they want to share with others. For some this is not always the case. I like to help them get started by sharing my summer adventures with them. Sometimes this is done with a slideshow, and sometimes by telling stories and letting them ask questions.
Every year I would also send home a brief introduction about myself and my family for the parents. I feel it is important for them to know something about you as well. They get introduced to my children, grandchildren, and my pets. They also get some information about hobbies, interests, and expectations. When special things happen in my personal life, they learn about them too.
I guess this expresses me pretty accurately. (An excerpt from my retirement speech that was given by my husband and son. This is what my son had to say.)
For many people, work and family are very much separate entities. For my mom, I believe the two are inextricably linked. I'm not saying that she always brings work home. Rather, I think family plays into her everyday work life. My mom is firm, yet fair, and she cares so much about the success and well being of her students, they become like extended family members.
Who else can say that, for a while, they thought their mom's first name was Mrs. Or who can say that they get an annual birthday serenade from a class of elementary students, who've been well briefed on your life by the way.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.