Teacher planning days are not only a chance to catch up on grading papers, planning and bulletin board decorating, but are also a teacher’s main source of collaboration with other teachers. Without students present, we can utilize the quiet classrooms to work together, discuss, brainstorm, plan, vent, laugh and reflect.
At the Primary Learning Center of Miami-Dade, I have the privilege of working with some of the leading educators in the county. These teachers represent what I believe is at the heart of recent state improvements in education and the future success of Florida’s children. With improved national rankings in reading and math scores, and soaring graduation rates compared to years past, the role of the hard-working classroom teacher is deserving of our gratitude and praise.
My colleagues at the PLC create classrooms that are warm, creative and inspiring. They motivate students to learn by presenting material in a way that’s exciting and fun for young learners. Computers are utilized daily to meet the varying needs of individual students. Smart boards are employed to virtually travel the world, experiment and explore. Administrators organize and lead school-wide curriculum themes to promote multicultural knowledge and awareness. Our students log in to NASA for Mars Rover updates, edit and publish class newspapers, perform mock trials such as the Little Pig vs. Alexander T. Wolf in the Once Upon a Time Courthouse, and anchor morning announcements.
Teachers connect parents to the classroom by creating class websites and documenting student projects through photos and weekly parent letters. Students become members of teacher-created book clubs to promote literacy and inspire students to read and discuss with their peers beyond what is required. Teachers consistently use multiple sources, including the data generated by state and district assessments, to gain a comprehensive understanding of their students’ academic progress. The entire team commits to countless hours before and after school to creating a school climate of caring and respect, wonder and exploration, ambition and success. Together, our team has constructed a school that students love to come to everyday and parents are proud to promote.
My colleagues are dedicated, diligent and passionate professionals who foster excellence in all aspects of education and contribute to the continuous improvement of student learning. It’s at this level that Florida’s education system will achieve its greatest success.
Ashley Kisselback, Primary Learning Center of Miami-Dade, Miami