Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers

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The extraordinary in each day is the children sharing who they are with me, to remember that my job is to really see and hear who they are. Samara: How are you a set designer who creates the environment? Sarah: One of my jobs as a teacher is giving children a time and a place, making it possible for them to show what they know and, most important, to be present when they are working. I love when children feel capable and competent without me. Watching the children take ownership of their work and their classroom by bringing together resources to create and to think and to wonder means I have created an environment where they feel safe to think of new possibilities.

I create a space where the children generate their own work because they want to do so.

Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers

I hope that each child makes his or her own individual journey through our classroom, but that all the children take away that what they think matters, that they can wonder, and that they are able to develop their own theories. The extraordinary happens when I step back and let the children determine their work.

Samara: How do you make the time be the audience who applauds? Sarah: Every day may not start with a planned moment of excitement or greatness. Sometimes, our days are rushed and busy with so much to accomplish that I need to make time to listen to the children—hearing and seeing children for who they are takes time. I need to make the time for conversations and to naturally be together in the space of our classroom, simply talking and learning together.

We do so not because of an objective or a curriculum, but rather because we are interested and invested. The extraordinary is that I am a learner alongside the children; I am an observer, I am a decision-maker, and I am a planner. Most important, I am a cheerleader, knowing that I am truly teaching in these moments when I am an encourager and supporter of the children. I am really reinventing the invented.

I believe that the extraordinary in our ordinary is there. I just need to see the resources around me. It is in our own downtown and in our classroom; it is in each and every day. It is in valuing the extraordinary work of the children.

Finding Ordinary within the Extraordinary: The Superpower Children Need - Dr. Kate Lund - TEDxUNO

In taking the time to hear and see the children display their knowledge, we have seen the extraordinary. All of the extraordinary in the everyday would not be possible without the children. From my discussions with and observation of Sarah, I learned the value of looking deeper at ordinary experiences in the classroom.

I also learned from Sarah that an extraordinary day is about listening to children and giving them time and space to wonder, create, and invent new ways of learning. Sarah spent weeks prompting the children to consider, investigate, and revisit this extraordinary building through multiple representations. Finally, I learned from Sarah that extraordinary teachers and children are found in our own backyards—in places, spaces, and events that seem ordinary.

I did not need to go to Nepal to find my story about a remarkable and unique classroom. Brown, D. Urban Education, 39 3 , Cipani, E. Classroom Management for all Teachers: Plans for evidence-based practice. Clayton, M. Classroom spaces that work. Collins, M. Ordinary children, extraordinary teachers.

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The Genius of Marva Collins | Teaching Tolerance

Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Classroom management: A critical part of educational psychology, with implications for teacher education. Educational Psychologist, 36 2 , Evans, W. Instructional management for detecting and correcting special problems. SEE this source for more information on instructional management. Behavior and instructional management — An ecological approach. Classroom management for elementary teachers 4th ed. Fay, J. Discipline with Love and Logic. Freiberg, H. The Elementary School Journal, 1 , Dimensions of person-centered classroom management. Theory Into Practice, 48 2 , Good, T.

Journal of Teacher Education, 57 4 , Gregory, A. Theory into Practice, 48, Johns, B. Techniques for managing verbally and physically aggressive students. Denver: Love Publishing Co. Jones, V. Comprehensive classroom management 5th ed. Jones, F. Positive Classroom Discipline. New York: McGraw-Hill. Chapter Kaplan, J. Beyond behavior modification — A cognitive-behavioral approach to behavior management in the school.

Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. Kauffman, J. Managing classroom behavior — A reflective case-based approach.

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Kohn, A. Beyond discipline: From compliance to community. Kriete, R. The morning meeting. Levin, J. Principles of classroom management 3rd ed.

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Maag, J. Behavior management — from theoretical implications to practical applications. Malott, R. Elementary principles of behavior. Martin, N. Construct validation of the behavior and instructional management scale. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26 5 , Marzano, R. Educational Leadership, McCaslin, M.

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