Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Every day in Kindergarten I choose a child to be my pray-er for the classroom. Some students pray a simple prayer of "thank you God for today, Amen." and some students require my direction and will repeat after me to complete their prayer. Today in Kindergarten I had a child who prayed a prayer of everything from his heart. He said exactly what he was thanking God for and why and how he was feeling. The morning prayer went like this:
Thank you for today. Thank you God for our house, our furniture and bugs. And thank you God for creating all the creatures. And thank you God especially for making the spiders....so they can eat all the mosquitos. Amen"
I love how children are so innocent in their prayers. They pray what is important to them no matter how "simple" because they know God is listening and they are truly thankful. I am blessed to have daily reminders of enjoying the simple things in life and also reminded to thank God for all the blessings in my life. Looking at life through the eyes of a child is an amazing view. For THAT I am truly thankful, even thankful for the spiders.
Friday, September 24, 2010
girl: Mrs Barnes?
girl: do teacher's live in houses?
me: yes they do, why, where do YOU think they live?
girl: I didn't know where...
On the first day of school I specifically read a book titled "my teacher lives at school". It is a cute story about how some students thought their teacher lived at school and how the teacher surprised them with a field trip to her home to show she has a family and a home, too.
There are days I feel like I live in my classroom...and it doesn't surprise me to have the children question it as well. I am there when they get to school and they generally do not see me leave. But in the time I spend in my classroom I am creating not only a space that the students are excited to come to each day, but also a space that I am excited to come into every day as well.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Adams
It is part of the concept of "creating a place to belong to". A place to give and receive love and acceptance, a place to create, a place to even make mistakes and know that we are still loved. The details are important...no matter how small. I may not live at school, but I do want to make it a space that is warm and inviting that any child may feel welcome.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I read this quote this past week that said "Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." ~ Anne Lamott. When I shared this quote it got my sister giggling and then I started as well as I began thinking literally...(it WOULD make a great short film showing a lighthouse hopping around insisting on saving boats!)...however....I loved the quote so much and it got me thinking. As a teacher I can use this concept as well. I, as a Kindergarten teacher, am called to the class I am teaching. I do not go around to other schools attempting to teach any 4 or 5 year old child in sight what they should know, I teach at KCA and I have special and unique students each year. The class I have is given to me for a purpose; the parents chose the school for a reason. And as I stand in my purpose and shine my beacon of light I am able to touch these children with the love of God and the knowledge of knowing that they are learning from me and often times looking to me for answers. I take my job very seriously and will continue to guide all Kindergarten children that walk into my classroom...That is a purpose worth shining for!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Yesterday, in the Kindergarten class, we celebrated 100 days of going to school. Every year we have a party on our 100th day. The students are told at the beginning of the year that we are counting the days of school and on our 100th day there will be a celebration. I have them every day put up a new number and we celebrate the milestones of 25 and 50 but the ultimate excitement comes at day 100. The students are so full of excitement and this year was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed how when we got to 80 they would say we only have 20 days left! and when we got to 90 it was a constant countdown. Little did they know how much "math" they were doing in the process.
Well, on our party day each child brought in 100 yummy things to share. This year I had 10 students...and you can do the math, each shared 10 things with each student to create a mixed bag of 100. Not every year turns out so "perfect". :) Some activities we did were counting how far 100 steps were on the playground, playing our hop to 100 game...but the favourite activity every year is playing in 100 balloons. I ask the grade 5/6 class to blow up 100 balloons and they put them in bags the day before and set them in our classroom. I then with the help of the Kindergarten students count them out onto our classroom and then play music and allow them to play in them. It is probably the most talked about activity by previous classes.
Monday, April 19, 2010
So one of my students gave me this beautiful "flower" today while we were outside. She was so excited to give it to me and insisted I bring it home and put it in some water.
As I looked at this poor flower (or whatever it is), I could feel the heart behind the giving; it was huge. Some may see the gift for what it is , a wilted flower, but in teaching children, I have the privilege to "hear" the heart behind that gift. I see it in their eyes, the excitement and joy. When that student gave me this flower and she heard the excitement in my voice and saw the gratitude in my smile, her world became brighter and she responded by skipping away with an even bigger smile on her face. Where else in my life am I able to allow someone to give and feel their heart. As I receive them, will they skip away with a smile on their face, or will they look like this wilted flower?
Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.
I can change my world around me, one smile at a time!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I know I have said it many times, but I love my job. I have many opportunities to share experiences with people, but I also have the privilege to see into their hearts. It is amazing how real people become in a Kindergarten setting. It is a space where people can be open, honest and most importantly just be themselves.
Friday, April 9, 2010
- clue: something that makes my dad rich.
- answer: he makes money for a job
- Another child answered this with "all dad's do that!"
- clue: it starts with "b"
- answer: he makes buckets for a craft (he makes buckets for loaders and tractors)
- clue: starts with a B and ends with an R
- answer: he works at B & R (company's name)
- description of what dad does: he crushes filters into oil and then makes them into cars!
I also asked the students to think about what they may want to be when they grow up. One child said he wants to be an astronaut then proceeded to tell his friends that when he is an astronaut he will fly a rocket; and a rocket protects you from the moon.
Yup, I love my job!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Today I had another dad of one of the students come into the classroom to talk about his job. He is a Toronto firefighter and he talked to the students about fire safety. It went really well and the students learned a lot. At the end of the presentation the students had a chance to try on the firefighter coat and helmet. I also took a turn and it amazed me how heavy the items were. There were a lot of layers to the uniform and each layer served a purpose of protection. In looking at it and asking questions I began to realize how if one layer was not functioning like it should it could cause serious damage to "whom" it is protecting. God has a plan and I also have a job to do. When I walk in my purpose and function as I should everyone I come in contact with can feel safe. It makes me thankful that I am a layer in God's plan. When I choose not to walk in my purpose and disregard anything God has called me to do, my layer develops holes and becomes thin and ineffective. It can be repaired, but it will take a choice. How strong is my layer? What am I bringing to God's plan? Protection or harm? I choose to be strong and BE the best "layer" I can BE for everyone around me and ultimately for God!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
So today I did an Easter egg hunt with the Kindergarten class. I had it all prepared by stuffing the plastic eggs with "mini eggs" and stickers. We went outside for our gym time and I had the students sit on the log outside with their eyes closed while I hid 50 eggs on the playground. The excitement was apparent as they were not just sitting on the log they were bouncing up and down in anticipation for the hunt. When I finished "hiding" the eggs, or more specifically placing them in different areas of the playground, I gave them each a bag with their name on it and gave them three rules. Rule one: When you find an egg, put it in the bag, do not open them. Rule 3: find five eggs, each a different colour; blue, green, yellow, purple and pink. Rule 2: When you are finished finding all your eggs, come back and sit on the log until everyone is finished. Everything started off well as the children ran to find all their five eggs. It started to fall apart when I realized I made a mistake....yes, teachers make mistakes, too...I realized there were no PINK EGGS! I realized it after a couple students came to me saying they had four eggs and couldn't find the last egg, and the missing link? A pink one which I too couldn't seem to find. This is when I was thankful that children are quick to forgive and quick to make a change. I proceeded to say "OOPS Mrs. Barnes made a mistake, you can find five eggs...doesn't matter what colour. After that, things went smoothly, all the eggs were found and everyone was very excited to have a bag of plastic eggs. Lesson learned in Kindergarten today? Everyone makes mistakes and it's ok. Making mistakes simply means you are learning faster. ~Weston H. Agor It is a good thing I am in Kindergarten because apparently I am not too good with colours!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Yesterday at school I had one of the student's dad come in to talk about his job. We met him in the back parking lot and he proceeded to show us the big loader that he drives. The tires were bigger then the students! The student's dad then took them each for a ride around the parking lot as I took pictures. The children LOVED it , they had such a great time. I love the fact that this dad was so proud of his job and wanted to share it with his child's class. The children's energy was so full of excitement and awe, it was really contagious. It drew a little crowd around the doors of other people in the building (including the principal who was giving a tour of the school) from hearing all the excitement. And I have to admit, I really loved looking at the loader too, it WAS pretty cool!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
There was a song I used to sing when I was little that said, "In His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time." Too often I want to rush into "spring" into the season that I will be "happy", but I am reminded that there is a time for all seasons and that God will make all things beautiful in HIS time. Therefore I choose to walk in patience and BE who God has called me to BE, and as I walk in that the seasons will change!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
There have been many times in my 10 years of teaching that I have compared myself to other teachers and their methods of teaching. In comparing myself I sold myself short and told myself I wasn't good enough and I am not the best teacher for these children. I have even questioned if this was something I wanted to continue doing. I was constantly holding myself back from who God created me to be. I now believe He has called me to teaching and he has given me the tools to teach these children. I had, just for a time, kept that tool box closed in believing who I am not and it was getting very dusty. Now that the toolbox is now opened and in use, I have an infinite amount of tools and I am still discovering some of them everyday. Some of the tools in my toolbox are:
An adjustable wrench-for those times my attitude or viewpoint on a situation needs to be adjusted
A measuring tape-to measure my relationship with the students and the parents, and to look at myself; Am I measuring up to others?
A level-for helping me do things with precision, keeping things in line
What's in your toolbox?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
"Hi, Just wanted to let you know that in "said child's" eyes you are the BEST snow pant boot coverer-uper! I (the mother) was helping him pull his snow pants over his boots before he went out to play and he said 'Do it like Mrs. Barnes, she's a teacher she is so good at it'! "
She proceeded to say how special I am in his eyes. I realized that even in the little tasks that I perform for these children to "serve" them and be the greatest teacher experience for them, I am truly making them feel loved, accepted and deserving of everything good...even having their snowpants pulled just right!