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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
OCTOBER 2000
Volume 1 Number 8

COVER STORY
Success and failure. Seems pretty clear-cut, doesn't it? This month's cover story/excerpt by author Richard Bromfield explores the reality of Success and Failure.
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
The Trouble With... by Alfie Kohn
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
ARTICLES
Bobbi Fisher
Afterschool Intervention
Teachers Not Camp Counselors
Silence Ain't Golden
Enhancing the Curriculum
Thailand 2000
Heroes Unaware
Links Worth The Click
Myth of the Quick Fix
Integrative Curriculum in a Standards-Based World
Student Scientists Win Spot on Mars Team
Teaching Children to be Active Voters
REGULAR FEATURES
Letters to the Editor
Poll: Favorite Quotes
Archives: Bobbi Fisher
New in the Lesson Bank
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Live Events Calendar
Gazette Back Issues
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Books by Bobbi Fisher

The Teacher Book : Finding Personal and Professional Balance
by Bobbi Fisher

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Perspectives on Shared Reading : Planning and Practice
by Bobbi Fisher, Emily Fisher Medvic

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Joyful Learning in Kindergarten
by Bobbi Fisher, Don Holdaway

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Inside the Classroom : Teaching Kindergarten and First Grade
by Bobbi Fisher

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Online Meetings Archive...
Teachers.Net hosts live meetings with renowned figures in the field of education. Sign in to one of our free sessions on-line and meet such celebrities as Pat Cunningham, Harry Wong, Howard Gardner, Joe Bonsall, Joan Holub, Esme Codell, and too many others to mention! All live events are at 9pm * Eastern * in the Meeting Room, unless otherwise indicated, and are 100% free of charge for teachers everywhere! Contact Kathleen Carpenter to suggest or inquire about moderating a live event.

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May 18, 1999
Live Chat
with
Teacher/Author
Bobbi Fisher

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Kathleen - Teachers.Net is excited to introduce our guest moderator Bobbi Fisher, educator and author. I'll post more info about her books later. Her topic is "Balancing Personal and Professional Life". That is a real challenge for early childhood educators! Bobbi, what is the first thing we need to know about managing our very busy lives as educators and parents, citizens, spouses, etc.?
Bobbi - I don't have the answers but it has to do with being true to ourselves.
Djinn - I think if you look at the main chatboard- a lot of us deal with stress by eating - not good
Bobbi - I also think is has to do with making choices about how we spend our time.
Kristina - That's the truth djinn!
Bobbi - And being sure that we take some time just for ourselves
Sadie - Bobbi... do you have a way to add about 7 more hours to the day? Then I think i could get everything done and have a personal life too!
Bobbi - Perhaps following a hobby
Steph - I don't know about others, but I feel like I live at school! I have a hard time say ing no! My principal respects me a lot and vice versa and she is always asking me to be on committees! I enjoy them, but feel I have NO time for myself, let alone my husband! We don't have children yet, so that helps!
Djinn - Bobbi - many of us are in this profession because we are caretakers and nurterers? How do you go about remembering to be kind to yourself?
Kristina - It's hard to take time for yourself when, truthfully, "teaching is your life". how do you leave the classroom at school?
Bobbi - Djinn, that's one of the problems. We're such nurturers that we can't stop and help ourselves. We feel guilty when we do.
annette - I agree with Kristina
Bobbi - Teaching is our lives, but I think that when we take the time, we are better teachers, time for ourselves that is.
annette - boy,,I was just having this conversation with a teacher tonite
Sadie - Steph... I can relate. i have decided that I can not take on another respns. at work. Unfortunately I have made some committments that I need to fulfill and then....
linda - I'm learning to say no and do only the things that I want to but it isn't always easy.
Kathleen - Ah, yes, nurturers, responsible for everything! perpetual mothers! a big responsibility
Bobbi - It's so personal. The main thing is that we feel good about how much time is needed.
annette - I am a reading recovery teacher and expectations to help classroom teachers is very high
Bobbi - Nurturers think they can't do enough, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Mary/WA - Eleven hour days at school starts to get a little old after a while....
Cate - Do you give out your home phone number to parents?
canuk - Kathleen made a point about perpetual mothers. Do male teachers of young children have the same dilemmas?
Bobbi - Annette, expectations are high and they seem to never end
Kristina - I feel like early childhood teachers (preschool, kinder, 1st) take more time doing things at home and such because we are trying the meet the needs of our students by providining hands-on activities, manipulatives, etc. That takes alot of extra time. Any suggestions to make it easier?
Djinn - annette - in our District Reading Recovery teachers must also teach 1/2 day in the classroom. Lots of paperwork etc.
linda - I think it must be much more difficult for those with young children at home.
Bobbi - One question to ask ourselves. How am I feeling about what I'm doing?
Mary/WA - I'm another reading teacher, and there could be six of me -- easily -- because demands on my time and FOR my time are so high.
Steph - I gave mine out this year. I'm a second year teacher. It hasn't been too bad! I will probably do it again next year!
Sadie - Annette, I am also a reading recovery teacher AND a classroom teacher. You are right.. there is a lot of pressure
Bobbi - If I'm feeling resentful, then I should reevaluate
annette - I think thats a great idea Djinn
Kathleen - It seems we must come to the realization that the work is NEVER done, therefore it is unreasonable to expect to finish, therefore we shouldn't feel guilty all the time for not doing the work every waking moment
Bobbi - I'd like to hear from you all on one way that you relieve stress and give yourself time.
Sadie - Cate. i don't because of a deal I make with my husband... work is work and home is home. It has really helped.
annette - I like that model though sadie: are you half time first
Sarah - Sometimes I feel that I am not allowed to be human, to make mistakes
annette - Bobbi:my question is do you think the state standards may have gotten out of hand?
annette - Bobbi: I laugh A LOT
Kathleen - Leave home for the ocean front in Maine :-)
linda - i make sure that I keep my Friday night dates with my husband, no matter what.
Mary K&1 - I used to think that I had to do everything, but I've learned that others are just as capable. They may not do things the way I would, but they can do things in their own way. For example - keeping the classroom in shape - Kindergarten kids can do a great job when you let them have the job. Give them ownership in the room - they often come up with some great ideas that I never considered.
jilli - i feel that way
Sadie - no, annette, kindergarten.
Djinn - bobbi - seems silly, but being a part of this T.netter family has been a great way to relieve stress. I also am a crafter and make gifts for friends and family
Sarah - Bobbi: I escape by reading, watching t.v. and playing on computer
Bobbi - Annette, YES. It's hard to laugh about the standards, though. The testing that's going along with them is stressful for everyone, teachers, parents and kids
Kristina - You know what i find? I have a bag with tons of books in it I keep thinking I'll read. Books realted to work -- I carry this bag to school , thinking I'll get work done there and then I end up carrying it back home again. All I do is carry the bag!
Steph - Kristina: I agree! We want more than worksheets for our kids, so we spend time making file folder games, precutting things for math games, cutting lamination, exploring computer programs to make sure they are good for our kids, etc, etc. It's harder in EC, because the children rely on us for so much! 5th graders can put up their own bulletin boards! Kdg. really can't!
annette - I really think thats what reading recovery teachers should be doing: half time classroom
Mary K&1 - I take time to sit back and just quietly observe my students - gives me time to think and I learn a lot about them as well
canuk - I think, many times, we put extra expectations on ourselves, then feel guilty when we can't realise them, even though no one knows about them but ourselves
Sadie - annette, are you in california? Are other states coming out with out-of-control standards too?
gertie - i like to walk in the woods and go fishing lol
Bobbi - Sarah, I love your escape. The important thing is to pick one that works for you.
annette - the MAP standards here are really high: the tests are hard..so I try to laugh with my friends and try to stay an intersting person: me too KRistia
kim - Bobbi: I escape by taking a bubble bath with candlelight!
Kathleen - Actually, I've found a lot of support here at Teachers.Net (that's not an ad! it's true)
Mary K&1 - I escape to Teachers.Net - and read about everyone else's problems :)
annette - no,,I am in Missouri
pentatonika - Someone asked if male teachers are perpetual fathers, just as women teachers are perpetual mothers. I worked this past year as a substitute, and it saddened some of the fatherless children that they would most likely get to see me only once.
Bobbi - What I'm hearing is both inside and outside the classroom relaxation strategies.
linda - I realized just recently that I can't do everything, so I do the best at what I know I can physically, mentally and emotionally handle. I also exercise at least 5 times a week.
Mary/WA - Bobbi: I am in a district that has a HUGE ESL population, and the pressure from the State to get these kids literate is incredible.
Sadie - Bobbi, our district requires all teachers (except K/1 thank goodness) do a program called "test ready" (somebody's getting rich off our kids!) The teachers are very stressed out because on the one hand there is pressure for higher scores.. on the other hand they have no time to teach them!
Bobbi - Mary/Wa I bet and it takes a long time to help
Mary/WA - The pressure isn't just on the 4th grade teachers (we give THE test in 4th grade) but all the way down to Kinder.
Kristina - same here Mary - I'm in California
Sarah - Good for you Linda! Wish i had your motivation
Ceci - WHen I feel stress and I am in the classroom with children I call a meeting of the minds. We have a class meeting and I don't talk I listen. We always sing. One big help is to sing for 5 min. Put it on the OH and and or CD and have fun for a min.
Mary/WA - yes, and as I said before, I could be six people. My parapro and I work with 60 kids per day.
annette - what is test ready?
Bobbi - We're getting so many issues and "solutions" here. I believe that shared reading is one of the best ways to teach a range of kids, and keep the kids relaxed (and the teacher)
Kathleen - Would everyone post the number of years you've been teaching? 25 here
Marva - What does "shared reading" look like?
Mary/WA - 2nd year here.
Kristina - When i get home, I walk my dogs. That helps relax me. I also (I hate to admit it) watch alot of TV. I find it relaxes me because I can lasugh or get involved in something other then work. It's an escape.
kathy - 5 years
Sarah - 3 years taught
Kelly - 24 here
trish - 10
Bobbi - Ceci, singing and drawing the kids into the discussion really works. Kids are so compassionate
Sadie - Test Ready is a psuedo test that is supposed to prepare the kids for the test at the end of the year. It is taking 30-60 minutes PER DAY of instructional time
gertie - isn't it sad to se our system go back to the god almighty test again...instead of going ahead we are going backwards....what about individual differences that was so imp one time
Kauai - 30 here
Djinn - Bobbi- you are so right! My little ones (kinder) love shared reading. Many of my students do not come from a literate rich environment. If we are all tired or the day is not going well - sit down and read a book!
Steph - I'm in my 2nd year of teaching! I love it, even though the demands are high! I wouldn't be anywhere else!
Sadie - 12 years here
Bobbi - 25 years, but I'm "retire" now.
annette - i have taught for a total of 16, I stayed home for ten with my own kids
kim - I have been teaching developmentally handicapped preschoolers for seven years>
Mary K&1 - Bobbi, that's something we do every day, right after calendar - I love shared reading - the kids learn and we all have fun
Kathleen - shared reading, multi-level instruction does help relieve the stress of trying to "reach" every child, every need
Ceci - Class meetings with heart to heart talks work wonders. You pass a satin heart around and compliment someone when you get the heart...etc
Katie - 5 years
Ceci - about 11
annette - 25???wow, I bet you jhave seen some changes in teaching
Djinn - 7 here - started after 40! Thst's when I got my second wind
Mary K&1 - 30 for me
annette - true enough kathleen
Mary/WA - Sadie, is your test multiple choice? The WASL isn't --- it's a great deal of writing and defending your answer, even in math.
linda - Bobbi: I am doing shared reading for the first time this year (thanks to your book) and the Kids and I love it. So do the parents when I send home their shared reading bags.
Bobbi - Djinn, Don Holdaway worked up shared reading in New Zealand with a classroom of 40 kids with different cultures and first languages, all of whom had immigrated to the city
gertie - this is my 27 year teaching...can't wait to retire
Roe/RI-k/1 - 29 years...still loving the little ones!
Steph - How do some of you do shared reading?
Kelly - sometimes poetry helps settle the classroom atmosphere
Kathleen - A wide range of experience. I wonder if more experience leads to the attainment of more and better strategies to relieve or avoid stress, or the opposite?
Sadie - mary.... the name of the game in CA is....bubble...bubble....bubble!
Kristina - First year teacher here!
Bobbi - I'm thrilled to hear that you're doing shared reading. I've been afraid that it is getting lost with all the other demands
linda - 20 for me-9 more left, plus 12 years doing something different.
annette - do you describe that in your book?
Kathleen - **Thinking & Learning Together: Curriculum & Community in a Primary Classroom http://www.heinemann.com
Djinn - Sadie - How true! I finished my two week assessment and then had to bubble the scantrons too!
Roe/RI-k/1 - I couldn't teach without shared reading and interactive writing
Sadie - Bobbi, in my district all K-3 teachers are REQUIRED to do shared reading!
Bobbi - From my emails I've concluded that there are different stress with differnt ages, and that many of them are the same.
Katie - I just went back to teaching after taking a year off to have a baby. I have tried to use every minute at school for school stuff. It has hamperd my social lfe at school a bit, but I take less home than I used to. I also workout almost every day. I do it before school (5:30 am) buknow I wouldn't get to it later.
Bobbi - My daughter and I are just finishing a book about shared reading, from her perspective as a first year teacher, and mine as a "seasoned" teacher
Mary/WA - Bobbi, would you extend that to different stresses/stressors for Classroom teachers v. specialists or not?
Roe/RI-k/1 - shared reading teaches the little ones so much about print...as does the interactive writing.
Kristina - My kinder studetns have made great strides with shared reading and interactive writing. My questions is though, what are your other children doing while one child is writing? We have our magis fingers and they write aloong with the other child, but it's getting old for them. Any new ideas?
Kathleen - Bobbi, that's terrific, you and daughter, 2 perspectives!
Djinn - Kthleen- I was a courtroom clerk in my other life - I worked under Judges and attorneys - teaching is heaven to me!
Bobbi - I think that there are some particular stresses for classroom teacher that differ from specialists.
Kauai - Bobbi, do you have any insightful words regarding the tragedy in Colorado?
Sarah - what are the different stresses at different ages? I know as a young teacher I am made to feel like I don't know anything sometimes!
Kathleen - The classroom is certainly more stressful, more work than the remedial jobs I've done
Marva - Does the thinking and learning book describe shared reading?
gertie - i find teaching more stressful now thanwhen i first stared...more demands are put on teachers today..programs are broughht in with little or no inservice
Bobbi - Specialists have to work with many different techers and parents, where classroom teachers can close their doors once in a while.
Steph - What's the name of the book Bobbi and when will it be available?
Kelly - Sadie, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea...
Cate - I have the same question as Kristina...what are your other children doing during interactive writing?
Sadie - Kristina.... my interactive writing time is very noisy. The kids are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the words and listening for sounds. sometimes i'll tell them to write it on their hand... on their shoe... in the air.... on their neighbour's back..(they love that one the most)
Bobbi - Sarah, there seems to be an expectation that first year teachers are supposed to know it all. Most unfortuate it you don;'t have adminsitrative support.
Kathleen - **Joyful Learning-A Whole Language Kindergarten http://www.heinemann.com
Ceci - When I feel stressed about progress I take home their journals and read everyone. I use stickies to write action plans on the pieces and then I write in the communication log to the children. I list the things I noticed they have started doing and gently nudge with one suggestion.
Djinn - I am interviewing tomorrow for a mentor postition - we have moved from the district level to school site mentors
Kristina - good ideas. thanks sadie
Bobbi - Kelly, we don't have a title yet but it will say Shared Reading and be published by Heinemann next spring
Kelly - I have found that interactive writing works much better with smaller groups
Roe/RI-k/1 - Good luck, Djinn!
Djinn - Bobbi - I am looking forward to reading it!
Sarah - I have administrative support. Its some of the other teachers. They have been doing things the same way for a long time and aren't open to new ideas
Sadie - Djinn... I am a mentor and I have decided as soom as my term is done I will not do it again. I enjoy it but the time away from home has added a great deat to my stress level
kim - Bobbi: Do you have any ideas for preschoolers?
Marva - where do us hillbillies find out about "shared reading"and "interactive writing?"
Kelly - Bobbi, keep us posted on the shared reading book, sounds great
Djinn - Sarah - I find that so sad - how can we create life-long learners if we can't model same?
Mary/WA - Sarah, AMEN to that, especially if you're changing the way they look at reading.
Sadie - Djinn, I don't want to discourage you... I hope you get it! Just be sure that you have the time to put in the commitment
Bobbi - I'm also writing a book about the topic of this chat, rather teachers are writing it thru emails they have sent me. If you want to tell me anything, email me at befjoyful@ aol.com. I'll answer back, but am going away for a few weeks, so be patient
Djinn - Sadie - I have been mentoring on my own - we share in Kinder. This would mean actually getting paid for it!
Sadie - Marva, where are you?
Kathleen - Marva, read Bobbi's books :-)
Steph - How do some of you manage your centers to relieve the stress of always finding new things to put in your centers? I attended a SDE conference on centers and they had some great ideas, but I'd love to know how some of you manage yours?
Kristina - I am in an intern program through my district and we are given so much information and techniques for the classroom, I am feeling overwhelmed! I can hardly wait until summer so I can sort through it all. There I go again. Summer is supposed to be my vacation and I can gardly wait to sork!
Sarah - When i am in a good mood, i just figure the other teachers feel threatened
Bobbi - Sarah, there are teachers who never wnt to change. Teachers tell me that all the time. They just smile and do what their heart and head tell them is best for kids.
Marva - Kathleen, I'm a upper primary teacher.
Mary K&1 - Steph, have you ever asked the students about what centers to have and what should be included?
Marva - Sadie, Texas
Kelly - try this link for interactive writing and shared reading etc.
Bobbi - Kim, ideas for preschoolers. Well, read to them and then read some more. Give them lots of "bedtime stories" and let them play with literacy materials around.
Sadie - Steph, what grade?
Sarah - I leave my center pretty open ended, so the kids manipulate the materials and use their own ideas
Kristina - steph -- I have open centers, but the chidlren are expected to complete a couple of specific taks each day. it works out well, because each center is set up to be intereactive and allow for choice. I don't have to plan for each center every day.
Katie - I think the more open ended the center is, the easier it is to maintain. Just a geneal writing center or science table, rather than trying to find 5 different games every day, etc.
Kathleen - **Inside the Classroom-Teaching Kindergarten & First Grade http://www.heinemann.com
Steph - Mary, yes and if it were up to this group this year, it would only be blocks and computers! They don't want to go to any other centers! Last years group was writing, reading, computers, art, anything! This years group just doesn't seem as motivated~~no matter what I do!
Kauai - Bobbi where did you teach? which grades?
Sarah - I agree Katie!
kim - Bobbi: I read to them everyday! We also make books together, and I write things down that they have said!
Bobbi - Most of my centers were open ended--reading, writing, math, science and art, so I didn't have to set up new projects all the time.
Kristina - thank you to all the teachers that do open centers! I am tired of hearing about rotation schedules.
Sadie - Steph, maybe that is all they are ready for...? I think we often leave out that all important play time for our kids.
Bobbi - Kausai, I taught in Sudbury, grades K and 1
Djinn - I think one of the saddest things about teaching is not being able to talk to other teachers at your grade level. If you are in a small school or district or have uncooperative teachers it can be even more stressful. I think forums like this are so important to isolated teachers.
kk - Bobbi, what books are you planning for the near future?
Kathleen - And the book that made Bobbi famous: **Joyful Learning In Kindergarten http://www.heinemann.com
kk - Bobbi, what books are you planning for the near future?
Kristina - by the way bobbi, i loved the way you managed centers when I read the first Joyful learning
Katie - Read, read, read! Reading to our kids and with our kids is the best thing you can do to help children become readers.
Steph - Sadie: I teach Kdg. We don't have all day yet, so I teach 2 sessions~~morning and afternoon!
Bobbi - Kristina, I found that rotation centers didn't give the kids any choice about how long or when they would work.
Katie - Djinn, what you said is so true. I am the only first grade teacher at my school. Not only is it lonely, but there's no one to bounce ideas off of or get feed back from.
Cate - Bobbi, in your opinion, do you think kindergarten should be more like first grade or more like preschool?
Roe/RI-k/1 - I can attest to Bobbi's management of centers...I've visited her classroom in Sudbury. she is one super teacher!!
Kauai - Where is Sudbury?
Bobbi - After the shared reading book, I'm working on the book for teachers about balancing their personal and professional lives. This is the biggest concern out there now.
Sadie - Steph, I am 1/2 day K too. Have you tried using your overhead?
Mary K&1 - Katie, don't forget writing also :o)
Bobbi - Roe, when did you come to visit? Where are you from?
Sarah - Bobbi: In your research, what's the most unusual stress reliever that someone has told you about for your book?
Kelly - Katie, continue to ask questions...to me, you can never stop learning something...
Bobbi - Sudbury, MA about 20 miles west of Boston.
Roe/RI-k/1 - I am from Cumberland RI. a few of us came several years ago.
Djinn - Bobbi- I read that the burn out rate for teacher is very high - that most leave after 5 years. Is that true?
Bobbi - Here's another questions I'm asking for the book. What are some positive suggestions you have for administrators?
Katie - Great topic, Bobbi. We just had a teacher give up her contract for next year because she found she wasn't doing anything but school stuff and teaching was way too stressful.
Marva - A lot of Teacher's I know read The Artist's Way...to help with stress and balance.
kk - Bobbi? How does one get to visit your classroom? I live in nearby RI.
Steph - My centers are open. I give the kids a contract at the beginning of the week. On that contract are about 5-6 "I-Care Centers" (Sound familiar!!!!!) They are marked on the contract with a heart! The kids know by the end of the week, these centers need to be completed. THe other 5-6 centers on the contract are free choice. They can go to those at anytime~~it's their choice, but it's also their responsibility to get the I-Care centers done by the end of the week. This is hard for some when all they want to do is play at blocks or computers! But, I love the center contracts!
Bobbi - Djinn, I don't know the statistics but I know it's an issue
Kristina - To take tijme to listen to the teachers. My principal is always so busy! I think many teachers feel put off. It's a shame.
Bobbi - KK I'm not in the classroom any more. But the Wright Group did four videos on my classroom. Classroom close-ups.
Sarah - I think administrators should give LOTS of POSITIVE feedback
Kelly - Bobbi, I think administrators sometimes forget to give praise to teachers....sometimes, thanks can go a long way...especially when we are forever building up children's self esteem
Judy ID/K - Bobbi, perhaps you already answered this, but should I buy the new edition of Joyful Learning....I own (and love) the first edition, and wondered if I should purchase the new one as well?
Kristina - steph - do you have the same activities set up in your centers all week? what kind of expected work do you want them to complete?
Djinn - I feel sorry for my administrators - we are a k-8 school. I wish we could get together for good times once in a while! Mine gives out little goodies of appreciation - We eat it up!
Mary K&1 - Administrators should also be good listeners, and allow at least some input from teachers - don't try to be dictators
Bobbi - Kristina, that's something that I hear from teachers. Come into my room. I wonder if adminstrators stay out because they are afraid that the kids will "do their legs." :)
Steph - I feel principals need to remember what the demands are for teachers. They continue to give us new curriculum and assessments that have to be done and that is hard when you start out with a LOT to do! Does that make sense?
Katie - I appreciate an administrator that can give feedback that is realistic. I am so tired of administrators who haven't taught in a million years. The best principal I ever had made it a point to come into the classrooms and TEACH once a year.
Bobbi - Judy ID. Up to you. The revised edition has three added chapters, upgraded bibliographies and an index. I didn't change the original text.
Steph - Kristina: Yes, it is the same centers all week!
Ceci - I love it. Do their legs rotflol
Bobbi - Yes, if only administrators would teach. My princiapl did and he became one of us.
Steph - Chuck: Love to talk to you sometime through email! I'd like to start a K-1 multi-age at my school, and my principal is all for it! I'm just not sure where to start. It won't happen next year, that is my "information gathering" year! Hopefully after that, I can start, but I'd like to see a K-1 multi-age before I jump in!
Sadie - My husband just reminded me that if I'm trying to balance my personal life... I should spend some time with my family! (oops) Good night everyone! It was wonderful to "chat' with you Bobbi! :0)
Judy ID/K - What are the topics of the three added chapters?
Kristina - steph -- where do you teach?
Chuck - It's a lot of work but the growth you see is tremendous
Ceci - had plenty of administrators walking through our classroom this year. The were learning to do the walk through in 5-10 min. without interupting or coming in for a planned dog and pony show
Chuck - This is my 4th year
Steph - Kristina: I'm in Kansas!
Ceci - it was great feed back
Kathleen - Bobbi, did you tell us what you do to relieve stress?
Steph - Chuck: Did you loop first? Or did you jump right into a multi-age setting?
Bobbi - Added chapters? I joke that I've never read the book. But one on full day, one on more about shared reading and one on generative curriculum, which includes more about play.
Ceci - they were looking for OTO time this was a huge break
Chuck - I only started 4 years ago, it was the schools 3rd year
Bobbi - When I was teaching, and now as well, I got up early to spend time reading, meditating, praying. I try to walk every day. I try to get away on a trip, away from the house. I make sure I spend time with my family.
Steph - Bobbi: Do you travel and give inservices?
canuk - Bobbi, can you define generative curriculum, please. I have heard the term bandied about by several people refering to different ideas
Ceci - Hi where you from Andrea?
Mary K&1 - Kathleen, retirement can be a great stress reliever I am told
Bobbi - I also do a lot of journaling, and someone mentioned the Artist's Way as a good journal and centering book
Andrea - I am from Birmingham Alabama
annette - I just walked my Golden retriever with the husband
Djinn - Lol Mary K&1
Kristina - Bobbi -- when you were teaching kinder, how did you schedule your planning? When did you do preparations?
Katie - Bobbi- I have used a sign in sheet all year. (I think it was your idea) The kids love it, and now compete to write their own sign in questions.
Andrea - Bobbi, Joyful Learning has been my "Bible" for the last several years! You are a true inspiration to me and my colleagues!
annette - I strongly suggest all teachers to get a golden
Ceci - I pray often to myself that is, in class
Bobbi - Canuk, generative curriculum is when the ideas of the teacher and kids work together into somethig new that might not have been planned. You start with an idea for a study and one idea generates another. I'm so interest in having kids pursue what they are intereest in. Generative curriculum is a start for that. Hard to do in this era of standards, however.
lindy - i just got home from school and I am really trying to destress even as we speak
annette - bobbi: that is such a good point. abut the standards
Kristina - In other words bobbi, how did you learn to balance it all?
Bobbi - Thanks Andrea. Just remember that you are an inspiration to someone else. It all goes around.
Djinn - Bobbi- how do you feel about the move to a more acedemic Kindergarten - I find it very stressful trying to develope a DAP progrm with a very un DAP curriculum. WE are all stressed- kids and teachers!
canuk - Yes, how could I reconcile that with provincial demands for a standard curriculum?
annette - I think there is a way to remain creative though
annette - what is DAP??
Bobbi - It's interesting to note that many teachers told me that they prayed in stressful situation. That didn't have to do particualrly with organized religion, just something they did.
Kathy - I try to find a little time for myself each day. But it's hard to squeeze it in. Going for a walk especially in the spring is a wonderful way to sort things out.
Shelly - Bobbi-forgive my ignorance ( I'm a first year teacher and haven't read your book yet) I will for summer reading. What are your feelings on retention? Is this addressed in your book?
Andrea - As a mother of 3 a full time k teacher and a graduate student I often feel like the most over whelmed person on the face of the earth, But then my kids at school remind me of how precious life is and I am Ok!
Ceci - WHen I feel myself getting uptight with someone I look in their eyes and say to myself.....give me the strenght to close my mouth and open my heart.. .. sometimes I have even had to ask for a way to love
Kristina - annette -- developmentally appropriate practice
Kathleen - The Artist's Way: http://www.heinemann.com
lindy - how do you deal with coteachers being burned out?
Andrea - Bobbi, my kids have especially enjoyed the dramatice play ares this year!
Djinn - I have learned - Don't sweat the small stuff!!
Ceci - another thing I do for me is write
max - Ceci, I really liked you input
jane - This is absolutely the most stressful time of year
Kristina - how do other kinder teachers do their planning and preparation? I try to schedule wed and thurs for planning, but i never have enough time for prep.
Steph - To relieve stress, I shop!!!!!!!!!!! Then I get stressed again when I come home and figure the checkbook!!!!!!
canuk - Burn out is much higher if you do not have collegial support
Andrea - I agree jane! Too many paper work demands on my time
Kathleen - The holiday period is stressful too with in school and out of school pressures
Katie - The end of the year s SO stressful. I just found out I have to attend 8th grade graduation. THis is my first year at the school, and I don't know any of the 8th graders. AND it's my birthday! (Just a little complaint :) )
Djinn - Jane- you are sooo right! I found myself taking a deep breath - sitting on the floor and just talking to my kids today. We have been doing nothing but assessments- not teaching really. Just needed to touch base and chat - best day we have had in a long time
max - I thinkit is important to deal with the problem and find workable solutions, not run on the emotions
Steph - Do any of you do anything as a staff for stress relievers? Like staff picnics, nights out together, etc. I'd love to hear about those!
Bobbi - Katie the end of the year is stressful and all at once it comes to and end and all those great projects didn't get done.
jamie - OUr PTA brought in a massage therapist for seated massages around Christmas. It was awesome, but not near long enough!
Djinn - WE have a "coaches meeting" as a staff - meet at a local cantina for giggles. I also meet a college buddy once a month for a day of girl talk
Kristina - you know, if ind it helpful to talk to the children too. they are very understanding. i think it takes the stress off of all of us if somethimes we just sit and talk about "things'
Bobbi - In response to an earlier question.,Yes, I am concerned with the academic push for K. People forget that kids learn through play.
Steph - I agree Bobbi! I had so many wonderful ideas I didn't get to this month, because of time! There just aren't enough hours in the day!
jane - Any ideas about how we can manage all the "extras" we have at this time of year and still manage to attend our own kids' ball games, etc. and act like a "regular" parent? My husband can always tell when it's May, as there are never any meals planned. We eat a lot of PIZZA!!!
jpm - i am getting stressed to the max
Kathleen - Steph, we should make a thread on the main chatboard about that: stress relievers
lindy - we are having a dinner for end of year, but we argued last night about who was bringing food.I guess it will all work out, and we will be done in a few weeks.. i really love the kids and they are wonderful, most of the time...and really interested in so many things...
Bobbi - I'm glad to hear that schools are working incommunity to relieve stress.
canuk - Althoug, sometimes, command performances for socialisation add to the stress. Its day to day mutual support that counts more, I think
Steph - Kathleen: What a GREAT idea!
max - we have a faculty luncheon monthly, it has really added stress rather than acted as a bonding experience
Kathleen - Sometimes we try to do everything we've always done, trying to squeeze in too many good ideas that could be spread over years rather than in one school year
Bobbi - Jane: Don't do them all. Choose a few and do them well. Be thoroughly present at each one.
Andrea - I always try to put the ideas that didin't get done this year on the top of list for the next!
jpm - its my first year teaching its hard for me to balance
Ceci - we do several things together as a staff. I think it is more in the way of team building. We go to this place and shoot each other with these strange lazer lights. We have lunches together. We also put on skits during the year for each other, We call it the Rawlings Players. The skits always include music.
Bobbi - Having a staff meal together is a great idea, but who does the cooking?
Steph - That's true, Kathleen! I feel like I need to do everything NOW instead of spreading it out over the years!
Kristina - Kathleen -- is there a way we could have a question and answer session with bobbi? I'm finding alot of good questions going by the wayside -- i can't type fast enough and i know everone can't read fast enough!
Djinn - jpm- I understand - you want to do it all well and thoroughly!
Katie - I've had a hard time with trying to do too much this year. I have a class that takes twice as long to get things done. I just finally had to letit go. If I get half the things I had planned done, that's o.k. It's much bttr than trying to rush my kiddos through stuff.
jane - jpm- it's my 19th year teaching and I still don't know how to balance!
Gumbo/K/La - I've finally learned that I can't get to ALL the things I'd like and choose the ones I think a particular class will benefit from the most......
Andrea - Then i find that it easier to do the new things from this year the second time around! i also try to keep a jouranl of ways to improve those projects the next year!
MotorMouth - Steph... do you teach at Sparta?
Ceci - how does a lunchin add stress
Bobbi - I worry when teachers go to conferences and get yet another great idea. You have too many already. It comes down again and again to choices, and we really have to be centered, or to have a center, inorder to make them
max - we have tried various ways of providing the food, each time a fraction of the faculty has been unhappy about it!! Maybe it will work better next year
jpm - yes and i don't have a mentor and its my first yr out i don't have very many friends that are doen with college so its hard for me to do fun things
lindy - We were having difficulty last night at our staff meeting deciding how we could afford a nice meal, and not have to cook it..I am on a subcommittee to figure it out!
max - Ceci, you are within a unified, bonded faculty, this faculty needs to do some bonding
Steph - No Motor Mouth, I am in Kansas! Where is Sparta?
Kathleen - lindy, that sounds stressful! :-)
Bobbi - Kristina, I sure am contributing to the many conversations. Please email me at befjoyful@aol.com and I'll write you back, but as I said I'm going on vacation for two weeks, so I may not get back to you until after June 7th
Gumbo/K/La - we do faculty pig-outs 3 times a year......usually lower grades one week, then upper grades the next......had pto pot luck tonight.....
Ceci - We have had lunches where youm travel from room to room and share ideas on a particular topic as you eat
MotorMouth - Alabama..the other k teacher who works with me was just introduced to this wonderful site yesterday.. her name is steph also!
kathy - I try to get ahead a little in the summer and prepare something for the classroom that i know I will need. I also make a list during the school year of supplies that I know I will need during the year. then i try to pick them up when places like Hammett's is having a Back to School Sale.
Kathleen - Bobbi, would you tell us what upcoming conferences you will be attending/presenting?
Bobbi - Lindy, that sub committee is another meeting. We sure know how to create work for ourselves, don't we.
lindy - yes, stressful was the keyword for most of the last day and a half...If I didn't have a million other worries in my life, I could manage better.
Kristina - bobbi -- what do you enjoy most about retirement?
Kathleen - I know that Bobbi is presenting at a pre-conference session during the NAEYC national this November in New Orleans, Gumbo country :-)
max - I think it is difficult to force faculty members to bond, it needs to be from the heart; must take awhile, new schools face this difficulity
Bobbi - Vermont Whole LANGUAGE conference in August. Before that the Whole Language Umbrella conference in Rochester. Yes Naeyce, NCTE in Denver, and a conference in October in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Gumbo/K/La - hope I get to go to NAEYC....would love to hear bobbi.....
Shelly - Bobbi- does your book address what concepts/activities ARE DAP? There are many times when I am pushed by admin. or 1st grade teachers to teach something that I have a "feeling" they are not ready for, but I don't have a resource to say "Research shows they are not ready for this concept yet"
max - Bobbi, what do you think could start a "stressed out faculty without a feeling of concern for one another to start to be caring of each other?
jamie - Bobbi could you tell us about your book Inside the Classroom? I teach 1st grade.
Kathleen - Shelly, sometimes it's not a case of them not being ready ("just because they can doesn't mean they should" - Lillian Katz) They might just be making better use of their time, making a good foundation
lindy - for DAP, remember the NAEYC book of the same title.Excellent.
Djinn - Thanks for a wonderful meeting. It was so nice "meeting" you face to face Bobbi
Bobbi - Shelly, No my book doesn't address DAP. I tried to write about best practice, not about how to adapt. When I was teaching I din't have some of the pressures you all have now. In four years a lot has changed.
Kathleen - NAEYC-National Assoc for the Education of Young Children http://naeyc.org
Shelly - Thanks for the suggestion lindy. By the way, talking about STRESS, our union is warning us we may have to strike.
jane - Bobbi- When and where is VT Whole Lang. Conf.?
Bobbi - Jamie, Inside the Classroom is a compilation of articles I mainly wrote for Teaching K/8. They are short articles and severla address getting ready for the first day of school.
Steph - Bobbi: You are AWESOME! Thanks for the fun chat and my "bible" Joyful Learning in Kindergarten! Looking forward to reading your other books soon! Thanks again, and thanks Kathleen!
lindy - thank you everyone.i feel less stressed now.
Bobbi - Inside the classroom: Teaching K and first grade--the title
Kristina - just a realization i came to recently -- our state is really pushing standards-based instruction -- the standards are overall goals to be working towards -- don't feel like your children have to reach them by the end of the year. if you''re working in that direction, that is what matters. don't stres syourself out and yes, you can make is developmentally appropriate.
Kathleen - **Inside the Classroom-Teaching Kindergarten & First Grade http://www.heinemann.com
Bobbi - Steph, thanks for coming. I'll stop in again sometime. What a group. Kindergarten teachers are the best.
Kathleen - Bobbi Fisher, thank you for this, your first appearance at Teachers.Net! We look forward to your return, perhaps for the upcoming session on full day vs. half day kindergarten....

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