Friday, August 31, 2007

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA): The philosophy of having a positive mental attitude is the belief that one can increase achievement through optimistic thought processes. Having a vision of good natured change in the mind. -Wikipedia
So, what do you think about PMA? Does it work for you? How does it impact your teaching and/or classroom?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer at the Concession Stand

I never thought it would have happened, but I spent my summer running the concession stand and Lakeside Park in Syracuse. The first obstacle was finding an appropriate name. I am a fan of many things, two of them being my dog and alliteration. So, "Sadie's Snack Shack" was born.

Life at The Shack has been interesting & eye-opening. I really did miss the students over the summer and was excited to see familiar faces of past, present and future students while at the park. The more I worked there, the more I learned from it and what makes being at a park so pleasant. Here's a list of observations, ideas and other things I want to take from my experience at the park and somehow recreate or place at school:

1. Everyone who is at the park wants to be at the park. ~ I want to help foster a strong desire for students to want to learn and be excited about being at school.
2. People, kids especially, appear to be happy. ~ What's better than enjoying your time in school?
3. All people have choices. ~ When people get hungry, they eat. Thirsty, they drink. Hot, they go for a swim. So, I'm trying to think, how can I incorporate controlled choices into my classroom more effectively?
4. Environment is key. ~ Kids don't sit still at a park very often. They are running around, rolling, skipping, jumping up & down and in & out of the water. I don't think that this is a mistake. I'm looking for a way to incorporate more movement into my learning environment and being more aware of it. We may even go outside more! I really should remember to look at my environment first before looking to other interventions.
5. Diversity & inclusion are great things. ~ I love that at the park there is such a mix of people. People's age, ethnicity, gender, culture, ability, religion or language is not a barrier to the environment in which they are placed. Everyone is simply together- working, learning, collaborating, celebrating and existing together. I love that and truly believe that inclusive settings are most beneficial to the whole. I am wondering how to celebrate diversity and incorporate even more inclusive practices, when appropriate, into my school.

I really think that working at The Shack this summer will help me to be a better teacher. I think it's important to take little nuggets of information & inspiration from where you are and incorporate them into what you do. I encourage you to do the same.


Side Note: I'm back! My goal is to post at least once weekly. I am holding myself accountable by writing it down here! :)