Monthly Archives: March 2011

Do you have what it takes to be a TEACHER?

So you want to be a teacher…or maybe you are already in a teacher education program. Do you have what it takes to be a teacher? In particular a Pre K-4 teacher, a teacher who works with our youngest learners?

There are multiple challenges facing the teaching profession today, but three are on my radar here today. First is retaining great teachers, second is demonstrating the impact of those strong teachers, and third how should we be educating the teacher’s of tomorrow. We know that over 50% of new teachers leave the field in the first five years. Jodi Sponchiado, principal of Governor Wolf is currently examining the impact of our ELED K-6th program and is finding some strong support for the Professional Development School model we incorporate into our ESU ELED teacher education program. Assessing the impact on students is a continuing challenge as we work to make both teacher and student learning visible in multiple and authentic ways. And finally you, the teacher candidates…the ones in ECED 263 Foundations of Early Childhood Education, or those in upper level courses or  Student Teaching. Do YOU have the qualities to impact student learning and continue to contribute to the profession over time?

Jonah Lehrer has two posts that I think are worth examining in the quest to becoming a great Pre K – 4 Teacher. The first is The virtue of play makes me wonder?  Why is playfulness an essential disposition for teachers? How can playfulness be generated or learned? In what ways could this impact student learning? Think of an example of how you are “playful”. (read on for combine questions….these questions must be answered by the PLAY group)

The second, Which trait predicts success? (The importance of GRIT) takes my wondering down a different path…a gritty path! Why is grit an essential disposition for teachers? How can grit be generated or learned? Share an example of how you are “gritty”. (read on for combine questions….these questions must be answered by the GRIT group)

Taken together I begin to see a pattern of a successful Pre K – 4 Teacher, a potential relationship that can have an impact on student learning. The combination of grit and playfulness makes me think of the work of Maggie Doyne in Nepal and how she combines these two daily in her teaching, caring, and creative work. What do you see, think, or feel? Is there a connections between playfulness and grit? Are they important elements for teacher and student success? (If you are blogging for class it must be posted before 6 am on Tuesday – feel free to respond to another blog post in your response.)

Thinking with your hands

The information from the NJMAC conference on March 4th in Edison, New Jersey and the National AMS Conference in Chicago from March 24-27, 2011 are listed above under ECO Arts/Literacy. This page is currently under construction and will be adding items throughout March. Please visit it often for updates. Art on….Mary Lisa, Pat, Lisanne and Rosemary.