January 2009


Happy, Happy New Year!
January, 2010

I recently conducted a workshop that several college students who were majoring in education attended. One student asked, “What advice would you give to someone like me starting out?” I’m not sure what I responded that day, but I have thought about her question quite a bit over the past month. As you start a new year, here’s some advice:

Remember why you became a teacher. It was because you really do care about children and want to make the world a better place. Each day look your students in their eyes, talk to them, encourage them, believe in them, and give them dreams. CHILDREN will always be more IMPORTANT than test scores and standards!

Do just a little more than you have to. Pass on a new idea to a fellow teacher, write a complimentary note to a parent about her child, spend a little extra time with a child who might be going through something stressful at home. A little kindness goes a long way.

Celebrate all you can. Celebrate holidays, small accomplishments, the first snowfall, birthdays, losing a tooth, and walking down the hall quietly. Those are the little memories that children will save in their hearts forever.

Keep a sense of humor. Many times humor can diffuse a problem situation and relieve stress in the classroom. Choose laughter over tears whenever possible!

There is the “art” of teaching and the “heart” of teaching. Keep learning about new research, techniques, strategies, materials - the “art” of our profession. But don’t forget that “heart” is equally important. Focus on your successes, surround yourself with positive colleagues, and stay enthusiastic.

Always look at the bright side of things. Is the glass half full or half empty?
The sun will come out tomorrow. Forget the worries of yesterday and enjoy the present moment. When you do have a bad day, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again.

Try to maintain a sense of balance. Work a little and then play a little. Sit for a while and then get up and move. Use a combination of large group, small group, and independent activities every day. Balance is a key to the universe and a key to a successful life in and out of the classroom.

Shut your door and create little “happies” for yourself and your students. Start and end each day with a song, and sing and dance in between. It’s amazing how a song can lighten your heart and put a smile on your face.

Several years ago when I was teaching college one of my students was aware of a problem I was having with an administrator. She looked at me and said, “Dr. Feldman, don’t let them take away your joy!” That’s always stayed in my heart, and I pass that thought on to you as you begin a new year. LOVE what you do and believe it matters! And don’t let anyone ever take away your joy and passion for teaching!

This month you will discover some ideas to make 2010 more JOYFUL! First, you will find some brain exercises and energizers; then you will find some creative ways for children to learn with a partner; and finally there is “show and share” with ideas from teachers who attended my workshops this fall.

Happy teaching in 2010! I’ll look forward to seeing some of you at Camp Kindergarten this summer!

Dr. Jean

YouTube Postings - Fingerplays

Dr. Jean and Dr. Holly collaborated to produce some videos demonstrating fingerplays. Click the following titles to see the videos on YouTube.

Finger Plays with Dr Jean I

Finger Plays with Dr Jean II

Finger Plays with Dr Jean III

Finger Plays with Dr Jean IV

Finger Plays with Dr Jean V

Downloads for January - We have a PowerPoint and a downloadable pdf book for you this month. There is also an Alphardy Chart created by Michelle Yaussy - Kindergarten Teacher, Northstar Christian Academy, Rochester, NY. Just use the Downloads button in the menu to the left.

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