Inspirational Teaching- Inspired Learning

Kindergarten teachers at my school proved this past week that they are a team of AMAZING teachers. I am in awe the way they :

  • worked as a team
  • were enthusiastic about the topic/content that they were teaching
  • taught with excellence in mind
  • did not use excuses why their students could not do this or that (Ex. they are too young)
  • understood that learning increases when students are involved, creative and teach others
  • were creative
  • helped their students shine and celebrated their successes
  • allowed them to reflect
  • integrated technology

Successful technology integration is as Kim Cofino said a

Mind set, not a skill set

I believe that that applies to successful teaching in general too.

Teaching, no matter if it integrates technology or not, is an art. The “art” that these Kindergarten teachers created for their students inspired me to write about it. It literally gave me goose bumps, while I was witnessing the commitment, preparation, the design, the delivery and the reflections that took place in their rooms. Again, I am in awe…

The mission: Learn about the country of Brazil as part of our Global Studies program.

The commitment: Let’s not just “cover” the facts, but let students EXPERIENCE and apply what they learned. Let’s work as a team to collaboratively create that experience.

The preparation: Three classes working together to create an experience for their students. Once class became experts about the Brazilian rainforest, one class focused on general information about Brazil, and one class learned all that they could about the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The design: Each teacher would prepare their students to not only learn, but guide them to be able to teach about their area of expertise to the rest of the school. Their rooms would be converted into the country of Brazil, the rainforest and Rio de Janeiro. The students would be tour guides for the day, explaining and answering questions from “tourists” (teachers and students from the rest of the school, PreK-6th grade)

The delivery: 5 years old students became experts, who taught the rest of the school. While some  might have been nervous, a little quiet and shy with the first visitors, students became more sure of themselves as the classes rolled through. They exhibited their knowledge, their confidence and expertise in such a way that was inspiring.

The reflection: Teachers took the time to not just let the day end, but give students a chance to reflect and talk about what they experienced and learned.

Do I think that these 5 year olds will forget what they learned about Brazil? Do I think that they, as grown ups, will place the country of Brazil into Asia or lump them together with Spanish speaking countries of South America?

I am in awe…

Stay tuned for upcoming post about the creation of 3 podcast episodes to document the Kindergartener’s Brazil experience.