I teach a self-contained second grade class at Goodnoe Elementary School in Newtown. Goodnoe is part of the Council Rock School District . I also work with a partner in maintaining our school’s web site.
One thing I am looking forward to is trying three of my “new” teaching activities with a new group of children. Last year I experimented with a different way of teaching math. Students spent a bit of time almost every day learning about some of the more challenging concepts in our math curriculum (geometry, money, time, measurement). I found that by the time we reached these chapters in the math book, most or all of the children had already mastered some of the concepts and we were able to fly through some of the material. We finished the entire math book with weeks to spare, and tests scores were the best I have every seen. Now I need to see if I can get the same results with a new group. I am also looking forward to trying the Circus Camp with another, different group. We also began writing our own science text books. Last year was the first for this project, too. We worked like a publishing company to produce a book that covered three of the major science areas of second grade. We used writing, photography, project samples, etc. to make the books. The books did not get finished, but we were able to discuss what changes to make for the next year. It was very rewarding.
I have thought many times about who my favorite teacher might be. When I think of elementary and high school, I cannot think of a favorite teacher. I remember most those teachers who scared me (Catholic school!!). I always think it is a sad thing that I don’t have at least one teacher who truly inspired me. There is one high school teacher who sparks some non-scary memories. Mr. Raucher was an English teacher in my senior year. I remember two things: he gave a project with the direction to do whatever we wanted with the literature we had read that year and he apologized for not give his teaching his best effort that year because of outside commitments. I remember being surprise to have such an open-ended project, and I remember being impressed by a teacher who felt the need to apologize to a group of high school students. I felt respected.