My name is Ms. Smith and I teach K/1st grade in the Mississippi Delta. I live in a town of 1,800 people and 2 hours from the closest mall or city!

I am a firm believer in learning that addresses the whole child. Walking into my room you may never guess that it is a public school. You will hear the songs and fairy tales, see the play silks and wooden furniture of a Waldorf classroom. You will see children spending about 2 hours in open centers, children doing many practical things such as serving snack as in a Montessori room. Then of course you will see the math meetings and about an hour spread out of more structured activities of the public school. I feel fortunate to work in a place that allows me to make decisions as to what I believe is best for my little scholars.

This blog is dedicated to my teaching journey as well as my journey living in the Delta. And boy, is it a journey!

Interested in my teaching philosphy/vision? You may read on :)
“I am a gift to the world
I can do hard things
I ought to love all people
I will try my best”

Our classroom starts every day but repeating the above verse. It is our mantra.
I believe that children should be intrinsically aware of their value to themselves and to others. Days should be predictable in structure with a definitive rhythm. This rhythm should be consist of days, weeks, and seasons. For example every day students should come in knowing exactly what to expect, the same schedule is kept with little variance. The variance provided in the schedule is still rhythmic with every Monday being science day, every Tuesday being nature day etc. Structure is a vital part of making sure students are fully engaged and not worried about what is coming next. Activities should flow between out breath and in breath activities to actively keep students attention and engagement. In my classroom you will see that even structured math time involves song and movement as a way to keep children engaged in the work. An adult’s attention span is only 20 minutes and a 6 year olds much less!

My job as a teacher is to facilitate a childs exploration of the world, not simply answer questions. For example if a child asks why leaves are falling off a tree, the teacher and student actively explore this together. This may include predictions, wondering, thinking of logical solutions and lastly reading the answer. If the book is too hard for a child the student and teacher will sound of words together, making sense of what is being presented.

My job is to help children relate what is learned in the classroom to their own experience. This is what keeps children interested and alive, it is where learning becomes their own. My goal as a teacher is to foster this learning environment. Create an environment of inner enthusiasm for each child where it is not just academics being taught but instead allowing a lifelong joy for learning to emerge.
Children should be enthusiastic towards learning and work, have an active self-awareness, take interest in their fellow humans and begin to respect the sacredness of the world around them. The classroom should be cooperative between teacher and student and the room should appear homey and bright.

Students are explorers in the classroom, diving into their own interests. Reading is not done for readings sake but to discover and explore. Math is not done for maths sake but to discover the art of the universe around them. Writing, science and social studies swing open doors for students to spend a life discovering their passion and calling. Teachers should have students actively relate what they are learning to their life currently as well as their future careers. Rigorous standards for behavior and academics should be set. These standards should be high enough that students have to stretch but not become discouraged

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