Friday, March 2, 2012

Slice of LIfe Day Two: It's Douglasville!

Here's my Day Two:

After teaching for several years, I realized that I needed something to bring my classroom into the community mode.  I knew if the students felt they were in a safe environment they would take risks with their learning.  That is when Douglasville was born. 

I started the year off letting the students know that they were in my room because they were special.  They had been picked to be there.  Actually, I really believed that.  I knew they had been chosen because I would be able to make a difference in their lives (and they would make a difference in mine!)

Each day they would enter the room to a special message about what we were going to be doing that day.  We would all gather at the carpet for our Morning Meeting.  This gathering time was our first chance to touch base with how their day had started and what the day held in store for us. 

The citizens of Douglasville knew that they were special.  When we left our classroom to go to another activity, we would first remind ourselves that we needed to be an example to the other students in the school.  After all, we were special and had a job to do. 

Once a little girl took her published writing home to share with her father.  She was so proud of that piece.  When she came back to school we couldn't wait to hear how much he had loved her work.  Instead he had simply said, "You had better learn how to spell."  I knew she was thinking she was not a writer and felt ashamed.  I reassured her that she indeed was a wonderful writer.  I then said, "Your dad just doesn't understand Douglasville."  We were a safe place that encouraged our citizens! (I did include an explanation of inventive spelling in my next newsletter!)

Douglasville was a wonderful place to live for those second graders!


Anonymous said...

I would love for my kids to be students in Douglasville. I recently took a job where I don't have my own classroom and it's building this classroom community that I miss so much!

Jessica said...

Love it!! How disheartening for your student but what a great way to encourage her!

Juliann in WA said...

What a wonderful story and an amazing place for children. Community building is one of those school skills that not everyone understands.