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S: Journey to the Sun By: Alyssa Lynn Quartulli

BC: Not all who wander are lost.. -JRR Tolken

FC: Journey to the Sun | The Unique Story of a Pre-service Teacher | By: Alyssa Lynn Quartulli

1: Journey to the Sun The Unique Story of a Pre-service Teacher | By: Alyssa Lynn Quartulli

2: "Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the water flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the river." LORIS MALAGUZZI "The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." MARK VAN DOREN "You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." ALAN ALDA "In search of my mother's garden, I found my own." ALICE WALKER

3: Contents Aspirations Why document my journey? 6 Section One Affirmation 8 Why I want To Be a Teacher 10 Section Two The Power of Expression 12 Loads of Love From Silver Class 14 Section Three The Importance of A Mentor 16 Mathematics In a New Light 18 Section Four When Cultures Meet 20 The Wishing Wall 22 Beyond the Walls of Hout and Adderly 23 We Travel In Mokoros 24 Section Five The Universality of a Smile 26 Salizwa 28 Section Six Community as a Necessity 30 Through The Looking Glass 34

5: People moving all the time inside a perfect straight line. Don't you just wanna curve away?

6: Aspirations Why document my journey? | In partial fulfillment for senior thesis and graduation, I designed a self-study to communicate and share my journey as a pre-service teacher and the values that I inherited. The pedagogy of Reggio Emilia, particularly the implementation of documentation and environment as the third teacher, influenced this self-study. Experiences affect one’s beliefs, ultimately supporting one’s efforts to create a personal pedagogy for teaching and leaning. The self-study represented in this book documents my journey and illustrates how the overall effect of multiple experiences inspired me, as a pre-service teacher, and impacted the development of my values in education. My journey is divided into six sections, one for each rich site in which I had the fortunate pleasure of working, learning, and assisting children in discovery. During the journey I realized how much I value passion as the ultimate motivator, the importance of a mentor, the multiple forms of expression, the universality of humankind, and community. All my discoveries were strengthened, recognized, and shared as a result. I invite you to take part in my journey as a pre-service teacher and appreciate all that I have come to value and that I hold dear. | "Journey to the Sun" follows the story of pre-service teacher, Alyssa Quartulli. Alyssa is studying Elementary Education at Endicott College and will receive her Bachelor's in May of 2011.

7: Six Sites: Vessels of Discovery | Oakham Center School Oakahm, MA Grade 2 intern | Stellenbosch University Stellenbosch, South Africa Semester abroad | Kayamandi Stellenbosch, South Africa Volunteer English teacher | North Beverly Elementary School Beverly, MA Grade 5 intern | Hannah Elementary School Beverly, MA Grade 4 student-teacher | The Moselle School London, England ASD intern

8: Section One Affirmation | In January of 2008 a former teacher, PS, invited me into her 2nd grade classroom at Oakham Center School. The small and quiet rural school setting provided an appealing atmosphere and community-oriented environment for me to complete my first internship as a pre-service teacher. The school's operations reflected their mission statement and oath to prepare students to become lifelong learners and “seekers of knowledge” beyond diploma. As a second semester college freshman I had taken several introductory courses in the field of education. My January internship allowed me to be a participant in the children’s learning and an active observer as I saw the classroom evolve from the course text-books to reality. I learned a tremendous amount from my cooperating teacher. As a former student at OCS, I felt instantly welcomed. The staff was interested in my pursuit as an educator and offered wonderful support and kind words. Most importantly, my internship gave me affirmation that I want to be an educator and have a positive, loving influence on children. The faculty at OCS created a positive working environment and illustrated the importance of collaboration amongst teachers, students, parents and community. PS exemplified for me that teaching, as an 8-3 job is an incredible misconception. PS reiterated that school may be the most consistent part of a child’s day and it is the teachers’ ethical and moral responsibilities to be a positive role model and facilitator of inquiry. I fell in love with the second grade classroom and was inspired by PS’s dedication to all of her students. PS fostered diversity within the classroom. I had the opportunity to work alongside diverse learners and children with special rights, specifically a child with ADHD and literacy delays. The young child’s contagious smile and incredible heart, despite the trouble he had on his schoolwork, was immeasurably | beautiful and moving. Exposure to the a-typical learner inspired me to want to learn more about fostering the needs of children with special rights in my next internship. An interview with my cooperating teacher allowed me to gain insight that I would not necessarily attain through observation. PS suggested other appropriate courses beyond the mandatory education requirements that would benefit educators including the study of psychology, counseling, and professional development opportunities. PS stressed the importance of keeping up with the professional responsibilities in order to be up to date with our dynamic, changing world and be a “highly qualified teacher” according to state standards. PS’ showed trust in me and gave me the freedom to teach the children at centers, particularly the learners who struggled and needed more direct attention. It was amazing to see the children's incredible potential and the impact of a warm smile, support, and differentiated instruction. Student successes, no matter how small, offered a reward unable to be matched. I gained a growing understanding of how the curriculum frameworks influence decision-making and lesson planning in the school district as well as how curriculum and skill level assists in determining student groupings. PS demonstrated a strong and kind management style encompassed by community, consistency, and respect. Students responded positively to her kind temperament, hands-on delivery, and integration of the subject matter. Internship 100 and the PS’s gentle guidance and influence gave me solid affirmation regarding my journey as an educator and sparked questions and areas of interest for further exploration including fostering the needs of diverse learners, particularly children with special rights.

9: Reflections of a 2nd grade teacher “Nothing makes me happier than when a child expresses, ‘Wow, I didn't know I could do that.’ I love when students are overjoyed with the excitement of learning and making new discoveries, and are eager to announce that they are happy to be in your classroom.” --PS | The power of children There is no doubt that teachers have an influence on their students. What continues to amaze me, however, is the tremendous influence that children have on me, a pre-service educator. Their innate sense of wonder, gracious hearts, and loose laughter inspire me to be the best that I can be; all for the love of children. --AQ | Children’s sense of time is the best sense of time. They don’t hear the clock. Malaya sits at the round table ready to paint. What do you want to paint, I ask. I don’t know. I think I’ll just follow my mind. Malaya sings and uses a red balloon for her turkey baster and she makes a meal out of pom-poms and ribbon and she sings. Creation helps me with my life. It makes me happy, Malaya shares. And then she paints because she wants to and she paints with her hands and a spoon, but it’s not a spoon, it’s a fun wand on fun paper. She makes bug eyes and the blob family and a spider with 11 legs. Together, we learn about symmetry and rainbows and following our mind and not the clock and we are happy and slow and we paint. --AQ

10: Why I want to be a teacher Cassandra comes into school Untied skate shoes A few sizes too big Laces purple, a mile long and frayed Nappy hair unwashed Father in and out of jail Mom not exactly Mrs. Brady Sister in for some trouble Or so the teacher says But Cassandra laughs Sometimes Other times she looks empty Frustrated with herself Sad Succumbing to the image her educators hold for her A bad egg But it's not true Clumsy Cassandra trips over her chair Applies a glue stick to her lips like she's Heidi Klum preparing for her glamour shot I try so hard not to laugh Teacher “Why’s it always gotta be you, Cassandra?" No child deserves that 9:45 in the morning Snack time Cassandra sits empty handed No food today No food all year

11: Teacher “I’m sorry, I don’t know what to tell ya. Check the nurse, otherwise you’re outta luck” Little girl leaves the room Animal crackers Score Cassandra picks up a pencil and begins writing No instruction, unprovoked Recess time Cassandra hands me a note Folded like a cootie catcher Decorated with peace signs I wait until I am alone Carefully unfold Gray lead Scratchy print Barely legible “You make my day better than it was because almost every day I have a bad morning but you make it awesome” Signed Cassandra There’s a PS “Thank you for your smile”

12: Section Two The Power of Expression | Big Ben, Thames River, the eye, beefeaters, tea, British accents- London, England. Although I had the opportunity to indulge in the “touristy” side of London, I experienced something even greater. In January 2009, I had the fortune of working along side a pre-primary teacher in the Moselle School in the district of Tottenham. For three weeks I was a part of Silver Class, where a misunderstood and hidden world was revealed to me. The six beautiful children were five years of age and were diagnosed with severe Autism. The children’s’ cognitive level was compared to that of an infant and all were pre-verbal. Textbooks characterize Autism as a neural disorder grouped with impaired social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. I was greeted with babbling and hand flapping. One child, a bit shy, rocked his body back and forth, quietly observing. Despite the textbook's description and although the children were not talking in full sentences, they were communicating. Expressing themselves through movement and song. The head teacher had a caring and assertive style in order to limit negative triggers and ensure that the children felt comfortable in their environment. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was used for functional communication. The teachers and I would practice using PECS with the children especially during snack and play. Positive reinforcement was offered to encourage the children to differentiate | between various images that were connected to a corresponding reward, or exchange. The staff continually impressed me. Their commitment to each child was astounding. They worked their hardest each day to meet the whole needs of each child. The Moselle School had incredible resources. The children participated in cooking classes, drum halls, sensory room activities, attended plays, and went on field trips in town and to the mall. The classroom environment was based on structure and routine in order to provide familiarity and help the children learn specific tasks. I would help the children take off their coats, guiding their small hands to grasp the zipper pull. A seemingly small task involved trust, patience, and nurturing. Not every moment is a happy moment and the children coped as best at they could. Biting, removal of clothing, self-induced vomiting, and spitting were not uncommon responses from the momentarily upset children. The strong and incredible students in silver class taught me the importance of patience, acceptance, and expression.

13: "Learning to make the | most of life." | The Moselle Motto | Fragments From a UK Diary Moments With Morgan and Amelie

16: Section Three The Importance of a Mentor | November 2009- the start of pre-practicum; NorthBeverly Elementary School. 75 hours of field experience, observing and guiding the classroom environment, implementing self-created learning experiences, interacting with students, and reflecting on best practices shaped my three-week stay. I was undeniably lucky to have an incredibly talented and devoted cooperating teacher. Her smile, passion, and approachable and caring nature extended in all areas. SH was a superb role model and offered irreplaceable guidance. SH's selflessness, vast experience, humor, and commitment separated herself from a good teacher to a great teacher. Her endless support did not stop when my pre-practicum requirements were met. Throughout my journey in Southern Africa, as well as during my student teaching in a nearby school in Beverly, SH offered support and encouraging words as well as clinical advice for the classroom. SH inspires me to give back through kindness and show children their true worth and endless potential. Under SH’s wing, I improved upon strategies for classroom | management and created interactive lessons by incorporating technology in the classroom through use of the SMART Board. I gained confidence in teaching math and also learned the power of art and learning through movement. I often found myself arriving in the classroom early and frequently staying late. SH’s natural talent as an educator and empathy for her students inspired me to ask questions to improve upon my own best practice. Being a student teacher for SH never felt like “work.” I can still hear our laughter. Looking back, I believe our strongest assets were our collaborative partnership, ability to make light, respect for one another, and true love for children. I could not ask for a better mentor.

17: My Teacher, My Mentor, My Friend Contagious energy Unlike many Radiating warmth Acceptance Children notice Welcome, sweet thing How did you wake? What do you need? I am here I trust you, child Capable of brilliance You make them feel whole-- I feel whole Shaping, but never taking credit Unselfishly tending Delicate words Together we steer A side-by-side journey We are free

18: Mathematics In A New Light Literature, Story-Telling, Movement, and Food! | Math integrated across the curriculum | As a child, math was never my strong point. I was initially hesitant to teach it during pre-prac. SH’s math lessons were interactive, fun, and differentiated. I wanted these elements to shape my math instruction and lessons. Right away, SH noticed my willingness to improve in these areas. Throughout my pre-practicum she gave me endless opportunities to teach math to the children and suggested unique ways to present the material. I began to think about my own misconceptions that I had in math as a young student and tried to approach the problem in the eyes of a fifth grader, in order to connect to the students. With a little extra effort, my math lessons developed into something truly beautiful. Lessons were differentiated, my own skills and confidence had strengthened and I must admit that I actually began to look forward to teaching math! Most importantly, the children were involved, had the opportunity to use manipulatives, and show expression through math! SH presented material to me in new ways. Her unique instruction encouraged me to extend the material in engaging ways. This enhanced my math instruction, ultimately benefiting my students in a subject that I was not comfortable in prior to my internship. Support, faith, and encouragement- the power of one, the power of a mentor.

19: Students reflect on understanding through use of an exit slip. | Friends explore mathematical concepts using food as manipulatives. | SMART Board lessons are fun, interactive, and educational.

20: Section Four When Cultures Meet | 33.9 meets 18.85 degrees- Stellenbosch, South Africa January- June 2010 Ever since I can remember I have wanted to study abroad. Looking to go off the beaten path, Africa immediately reeled me in. No pamphlet, movie, or travel agent could have predicted my experience. Undeniably unique. Infinitely beautyiful. Truly South Africa. My experiences in Southern Africa opened up my eyes, inevitably advancing me as a global citizen and knowledgeable member of society. Class, seminars, festivals, and travel showed me how interconnected the world really is. Bradley, our CIEE director gave our group countless opportunities to experience South Africa. I learned about other cultures, first hand. CIEE provided us with cultural field trips and excursions including a tour of Robben Island, the National Gallery, Infecting the City art exhibit, wine estate tours, and so much more. I befriended so many wonderful people from all over the globe and was able to learn about their culture through deep conversation. My courses during the semester continued to push me and showed me different methods of inquiry. I had a seminar on living and learning in South Africa and also took a course on economic and development problems in Africa. I was placed with other international students, where we worked together to propose plans to aide growth in Africa. As part of the course, we had a cultural partner, which gave us the opportunity to get to know other South African students on a more intimate level. I was extremely fortunate to have | had the opportunities to travel while already abroad. One of my most exhilarating and meaningful experiences was when I traveled alone along the Garden Route on the east coast of SA. My independence shined and I showed myself that I was stronger than I ever knew. I also ventured to Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe on a three-week camping trip at the end of the semester. Living with people in such tight quarters while camping causes you to learn so much about others and yourself. I made incredible, life-long friends on this short journey and was exposed to a multitude of cultures. My adventures bared my thirst for discovery, people, and learning Studying abroad has taught me more things than I could ever express or put on paper. I came home from South Africa feeling confident in who I have become and eager to share all the incredible experiences that have had such a brilliant impact on me. South Africa is a lovely country. However, living abroad has engraved that nothing beautiful is ever perfect, we don’t yet have all of the answers, and that there is so much beauty in the world.

21: "The only dream worth having, I told her, is to dream that you will live while you're alive and die only when you're dead. To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." Arundhati Roy | Exhbit in Cape Town's National Gallery | Living in a foreign country presented challenges, illuminated inner-strength, and illustrated the inter-connectedness of human-kind.

22: Infecting the City 2010 The Wishing Wall | In the Spring of 2010 I had the pleasure of going to an art festival, “Infecting the City,” in downtown Cape Town, South Africa with several friends. The creators of the installation set out materials for participants to contribute pieces of themselves and become part of a collective movement. The wishing wall extended down the streets of Hout and Adderly and reportedly transformed throughout the week. My friends and I were immediately drawn to the wall and were eager to participate and reveal something reflective and true to us. I was truly moved by the collage, which was made up of wishes, reflections, opinions, photos, and keepsakes from people of all kinds. It was incredible to see the magnitude of art and how such expression provided a space for connecting, healing, venting, feeling, and interacting. Wishes were posted by people of all ages and illustrated various desires and needs. The wishing wall displayed the interconnectedness of human beings by its participants stripping down, soul-deep.

23: Bridging the Gap Beyond the walls of Hout and Adderly | What do you wish for? | To find true, sustainable happiness- the kind that has to be discovered on my own, independent of material things and other people :) | I wish money didn't matter | I wish my children good health, a lot of love, & great happiness in their lives... | I wish for this moment to last forever | I wish everyone gets the chance, at some point in their life, to travel to a place they've always dreamed of going to. | I wish for safety and love for people fighting our wars! | I wish I could say I would wish for something noble, like an end to war, poverty, or racism... but my wish is a different, more selfish type of peace. I wish I could know for certain that at the end of my life I will feel completely confident that I lived my life to the fullest, honored my family well and experienced and shared love to my highest capacity. | I wish this headache would go away! | I wish I die in the ocean if I ever have to die :) | I wish that every village had a wishing well with endless clean water in it. | I wish that children would be taught more about the world at a younger age, not just the U.S. It isn't fair to them or us to keep them in the dark about other cultures around the world. | I wish that I get the job in Colorado :) | I wish I could fly! | Responses from people old and young

24: We Travel In Mokoros Once upon a journey through Southern Africa 5 June twenty ten I am in Botswana Blankets wrapped around us in open-air vehicles Driving impressive kilometers from our campsite in Maun- the gateway to the Okavango Delta Donkeys populating the winding dirt roads Outnumbering people Botswana women bearing pot-bellied babies on their backs Hanging patterned tunics to dry outside of thatched huts Reeds and poles create the cylindrical homes, while the walls are sculpted from clay and mud Our vehicle stops Guides and their families instantly surround us Kindly helping to unload and reload packs and supplies into twenty wooden mokoros- our means of transport Local Bayei- tribesmen Lean men and thick women Stronger than any football team These brilliant folk pole our crew through the shallow delta Crocodile infested waters and the home of aggressive hippos But the river people are not afraid Papyrus walls on both my left and right Legs draped- suntanned My backpack substituting for a pillow The water ripples and reflects I am calm We are in the reeds A labyrinth of lagoons Twenty mokoros drift to our three-day island oasis Gentle and beautiful Flooded plains A mosaic of land and water Gorgeous Water Lily necklaces are placed over our heads Young women weave baskets and bracelets from the reeds Nothing is wasted 6 am, bush walk Pomegranate sky Elon and pumbas occupy our shared haven Bare feet Wide-eyed wanderers

25: Elephant tusks and hippo remains are left behind and scattered on the inland- poachers A cruel tragedy spearing Bayei and tourist hearts Cooking is done on an open fire Joseph’s ostrich potijekos and maize Bread and butter Stomachs happy and full Namaqua in our plastic cups Traditional dancing after dinner Bodies moving as if they were telling a story Stunning We sing our national anthems And Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” Almost a year later I sit in suburbia Close my eyes and think of a time where Zimbabwean, American, Swedish, Australian, and Korean people share an island with incredible wildlife Kenyan, German, Scottish, Canadian, Dutch It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from Your surname Skin color Or the syllables used in which to say “hello” None of that Instead Humankind- laughing, sharing, appreciating Eating up culture Experience A camp that cannot be reached by road A ball of fire setting perfectly behind the Baobab trees I am in the delta Life is slow and the sky is orange

26: Section Five Universality of a Smile | I had several goals while studying abroad in the spring of 2010 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, which included cultural immersion, to “go beyond the givens,” and to lend a hand to the community that had graciously accommodated me for six months. Bradley, my CIEE program leader, and the international students’ organization introduced and welcomed me to the Kayamandi Project. The organization provided international students the opportunity to become directly involved in the local community by offering supplementary English education and support at Ikaya Primary School in the local Stellenbosch township, Kayamandi. In 1941, the township was recognized as an establishment for black and colored people to be housed apart from white people. It was not unlikely that the discouraging and depressing images of the impoverished settlement would deter non-residents from entering. Yet, the minute I stepped foot in the township of 30,000, I witnessed a legacy of South Africa’s Apartheid era. Kayamandi literally means “sweet home” in the beautiful African language, isiXhosa. Initially, this seemed ironic to me as I walked by the squatter camps that practically overlapped one another and witnessed the harsh living conditions. The extreme rate of malnutrition, poverty, HIV and Aids, and low literacy rate was devastating. Despite all of this, the Xhosa culture reeked melodiously throughout the township built by the residents upon the principles of “Ubuntu,” community, and humanity. The first day I entered the broken gate of Ikaya Primary School I was greeted by a group of children too large to count. The first isiXhosa word I heard was “umlungu,” which meant, “white person.” Originally an outsider, I was gradually accepted. My hair was played with, my extremities climbed, and my clothing tugged on. Over the course of five months I had become a human jungle gym, a . | friend, and a teacher of many beautiful children. Each week I prepared English lessons for the five and six year olds in Skiti’s classroom. All learners spoke isiXhosa, composed of intriguing clicks. My time spent here was never easy. 32 five year olds in a small, one room classroom was always hectic, the language barrier was quite difficult, and the teacher’s harsh and strict approach was often hard to witness. However, I learned that children seem to be innately the same everywhere, regardless of the fact that we couldn’t always verbally communicate with one another. The innocence and playfulness that encompassed these children, despite that they were living in extremely harsh conditions and were likely to be stuck in this cycle of poverty was moving and inspiring. It was a gift to be able to spend time with them, teach lessons, and learn from these adorable children each day as it played a tremendous impact on my experience. With Skiti serving as a translator, my co-volunteer and I taught the children about numbers, shapes, colors, safety, animals, seasons, and helped in forming and funding a school field trip to the zoo. My relationship with the children was a real-life example of communication through loving gestures and inviting smiles. We conversed by building sandcastles, drawing pictures of our families, dancing brilliantly, and always through laughter. It was at times an intimidating experience and indeed tiring, but nevertheless amazing and eye-opening. Although my official position was an assistant teacher to Skiti, I too was a student everyday. I experienced the dynamic Xhosa culture and learned about the interconnectedness of all people, no matter the language you speak or where you call home.

27: They create through harmony.

28: Salizwa Salizwa Silly, Sweet Salizwa with the lollipop fingers Molo Hello. Injani? How are you? Molo Umlungu UMLUNGU I needed little time to realize this meant “Hello white person” in IsiXhosa- an inviting African language spoken in the Kayamandi township Molweni class Molo Salizwa. Injani? How are you precious boy with your thick caterpillar scabs? You seem un-phased by your constant leaky faucet nose Precious boy with your tiny hands covered in countless days’ worth of gook Dirt. Blood. Mud. Grass. Snot. Oil from those greasy Simba Chips you like so much Lollipop fingers I wipe the stick off your hands I put a tissue to your nose Feel better? You smile and pretend I show you how to grasp those plastic green scissors with your small, unsteady hands We cut We cut shapes and we cut numbers You scratch the letters of your name on your schoolwork with a dull pencil

29: I turn my head I remove a quarter that you’ve wedged between your rotting teeth ‘No.’ ‘Not food.’ ‘Dirty,’ I say. You laugh Salizwa with the lollipop fingers You drape yourself over a rubber tire The Stellenbosch Mountains cast shadows in the distance This is your home I am a volunteer A weekly visitor You may soon forget me, Lost amongst the other ‘do-gooders’ in your life But I am glad to know you Any memory of the girl who wiped your lollipop fingers clean may soon become stuck in the craters of your mind But to me, Salizwa, You will never be forgotten For all you are and all you have taught me And I am glad to know you

30: Section Six Community as a Necessity | As a pre-service teacher, nothing could be more exciting than your student teaching experience. Finally, a chance to put everything you have learned into practice and begin shaping the lives of young learners. In August of 2010, I began my practicum at Hannah Elementary School located in Beverly, MA. I entered the fourth grade classroom with excitement and was greeted by twenty-five smiling, beautiful faces that influenced me more than they know. A semester went by more quickly than I ever could have imagined. Pretty soon I was hugging each child “see you later” and reflecting on all that I had gained. My cooperating teacher offered endless support and guidance and provided countless opportunities for me to implement new management techniques and to become increasingly comfortable with delivering effective instruction and interacting with students of all abilities. I was inspired by my cooperating teacher’s ability to create and implement interactive lessons that targeted unique learners as well as by her effective and fun classroom management techniques. With much planning, reflection, and passion I blossomed throughout the semester. Planning and teaching soon became second nature and the children served as the twenty-five reasons why I was at the Hannah School each day. Practicum illustrated the drastic difference between planning and implementing. A lesson planned by the most brilliant teacher is worth very little if classroom management is non-existent or not enforced. It is vital to establish that the classroom is a community based on mutual respect and trust. Having a | sense of community transforms the classroom and learning experiences. Learning is shared and meaningful. I was impressed at the compassion that the fourth grader’s held. The children interacted well with one another and acted as “mentors," not “managers.” The fourth graders were “book buddies” with the neighboring first graders, which was the highlight of their week. Observing the fourth graders’ animated nature while reading to the younger children was awe-inspiring. Kindness, value of others, and humor are vital principles that transformed our classroom into a place where friends peacefully and passionately question, discover, and learn. Differentiated instruction and organization are vital. Through practice, I recognized the difference between “telling” and “facilitating.” Interactive and multi-faceted lessons influenced learning to be less teacher-directed and more student-centered. Students began to own their learning through inquiry. My role was not that of an “all-knowing lecturer.” Instead I worked alongside the children to promote discovery. I was aware and confident in the tremendous potential that all of the fourth graders had. Student teaching showed me the importance of creating a learning community based on respect, love, and a thirst for knowledge.

31: We are a dedicated learning community, kindly shaped by our passionate commitment to ourselves, each other, and our world.

32: "Nothing without joy!" -Loris Malaguzzi

33: Examining earth's materials | Reading for pleasure with friends

34: Through the Looking Glass | Looking back I see a child, a friendship bracelet, and a heart so big I feel hopeful; committed to people & world I hear I get this now and I'll keep trying I say believe in yourself; you can and you will I share the story made by many A tale weaved together by people and place

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