Sunday, August 28, 2016

The how of teaching comes readily when you know the why. Why do you teach? 

I teach because it is wonderful and joyous and it helps me step into being my most authentic self. 

Like Elizabeth Gilbert, "I believe that we are all repositories of buried treasure." Teaching 5-year olds has always gifted me the opportunity to experience those jewels that sometimes become hidden over time. 

Once again, this year, I have been gifted the opportunity to teach 5-year olds. Yay!

~ Ellyn

Friday, August 26, 2016

What I want for my students this year

This year and inspired by Crawling out of the Classroom, I want my students to know that they belong not only in this room and this school, but that they belong with me as well.

I want my students to feel comfortable demonstrating their wonder and know that this is going to be a rich wonder-filled year.

I want to approach everything with a warm smile and to listen closely to my students, maintaining eye contact.

I want my students to know that they can share their world and their thoughts with each other and with me.

I want my students to know that I have great faith in who they are and that they are here on purpose, as am I.

I want my students to know that they can trust me.

I want my students to know that I believe in the value of play and that play is important work and how they make sense of their world.

And to paraphrase Stuart McLean, I promise to follow a path of peace and walk softly on this earth and to read lots and sing songs and hold hands, and to work with all of the other subjects school has to offer. In order for this to unfold in this manner, I will ensure that our first day of school reflects these wants and evaluate my teaching each day after that.

What do you want for your students this year?

~ Ellyn

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pledge of Allegiance

I love The Vinyl Cafe and the captivating storytelling that is, Stuart McLean. A few years ago, Stuart was inspired to write this pledge while visiting with a young American friend who was soon heading off to school. His pledge struck a chord in me and has meandered through my being for a few years. As the new school year approaches, I decided to post Stuart's Pledge of Allegiance here and am in the process of writing mine. How about you? What do you pledge?

Pledge of Allegiance – Stuart McLean

I pledge my allegiance to truth, under whatever flag it flies, for I know no one holds all truth. And I pledge my allegiance to kindness wherever I see it and understanding whenever it comes. I pledge my allegiance to sharing and hopefulness, and to speaking softly, and to love when I feel it, and to hope when I don’t. I pledge my allegiance to the children of the world. Boys and girls like me who are in this classroom, and who are far from here. Who are rich and who are poor and to all the schools here and not here and to the knowledge in the school libraries, and I pledge to follow the path of knowledge to the best of my abilities because with knowledge comes wisdom and with wisdom comes grace. I also pledge my allegiance to laughter because laughing makes people feel better. Finally I pledge my indivisible allegiance to recess. I pledge to play with a joyful and kind heart and I pledge to use my voice and not to hit because I know how I play is how I will live my life and I want to follow the path of peace and understanding and live softly on this good Earth.

Thank you Stuart.

~ Ellyn