...said Little Buddy as he left his 3rd grade classroom this year.
Me: Really? The worst day?
Me: It's the first day of summer, I'm taking you out for ice cream.
Him: I don't want to leave Mrs. Terborg
And there you have it. The teacher of the year award definitely goes to Little Buddy's 3rd grade teacher who turned the first day of summer into the worst day ever just by being so dang awesome...and she was! I too shed a tear (or 50) when it was time to say goodbye, she pushed my little man so hard and with so much love, that by the time June 8th came around, I hardly recognized my reading, dividing, confident "little" boy. And he could barely contain his "little boy" tears. The consolation was that Mrs. T is so awesome that she set up a mid-summer pool party for her graduating class! I mean, who does that? Certainly not me, I send my seniors off with a heartfelt hug and lots of writing knowledge, but a pool party? And let me tell you...every one of Little Buddy's classmates was there to get one more hug from Mrs. T.
Not only was she a great teacher for Little Bud, but she was also a great role model for me. We may teach very different ages, but in the end, seniors act just like preschoolers, so there's really not all that much difference. She has 20 years of teaching experience to my 7, and I'm always up for learning something new, so here are a few things that I learned from the awesome Mrs. T.
I don't know about you, but my least favorite part of teaching is the parents. Ugh. I like kids...which is why I went into education...self-explanatory. But Mrs. T was so good about making me feel like we were partners in Little Bud's progress. She sent home a progress report EVERY FRIDAY!! With personalized notes and everything...who has time for that!!?? Apparently her. Anyway, she also asked for weekly feedback, and when I would write a note back on the progress report, she would send an email by noon on Monday thanking me for feedback, or answering a question that I asked. She was so great at letting us know what was going on...not only with the class as a whole, but with each child personally. It was invaluable!
Every time one of the kids in class would accomplish a new goal, she would celebrate (or sillibrate as she called it) as a class. Whether it was that they finished a book, accomplished a math objective, or scored well on a test, each child would give the others a sillibration. Seriously, I'm so busy grousing over who didn't study for the weekly vocab quiz that I forget to celebrate those who scored a 100%. Celebrating the "little" accomplishments might challenge the kids to push harder to reach a larger goal.
3. Learning styles:
Mrs. T was so good about teaching through all of the learning styles. Little Bud had hand motions for memorizing the passage ways of the Native Americans through the Great Lakes, a super-cool rap with matching dance moves for all of his multiplication tables, and he also learned how to take notes - dang! Some of my seniors still can't take notes to save their lives. She was a great reminder to add some pizzazz (I almost wrote pizza there) and shake things up.
Little Bud can read (which is good since he's going into 4th grade). Later this week I'll post on some of the creative and exciting ways she encouraged a love of reading in a normally book-hostile child...
Mrs. T was an awesome teacher. I hope that I have students that on the last day of school say it is "the worst day ever," because they don't get to see me after graduation (except they're seniors and they're going to college, so probs not...) either way, I look forward to incorporating her elementary ideas into my secondary classroom. Anyone else have a favorite teacher? What did they do that made them memorable and special?
Here are some pics from the pool party: