A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity for a new teacher, Rachel Summers, to observe my classroom procedures. Shortly thereafter, Rachel was hired to teach second grade at the elementary school down the road from my school. As a new teacher, Rachel was required to attend the district TIPS program which helps new teachers acclimate to the demands of teaching including state and federal mandates, differentiated accountability, Learning Focused Solutions, classroom management, and so on. I received an CC E-mail from Rachel this week to her TIPS trainer thanking her for the great program. What blew me away was the fact that she shared the WBT techniques I shared with her, and the district trainer loved the program! Soon after that E-mail, the district trainer E-mailed me herself to thank me for using such great ideas in the classroom with my students. I told her about the WBT Web site, and I shared how much I have enjoyed using the program these past few years.
I have also been asked by other teachers that I currently work with and have worked with in the past about the program. In spreading the message about WBT, I feel I am helping these teachers and their students make a significantly positive change. I love the fact that I can share the program because of how fun it is for teachers AND students. Many of the ideas in the program support the initiatives we currently have in Polk County, Florida public schools. When visitors come to my classroom, they see WBT teaching in action all day, every day. My students are engaged, having fun, and taking their learning to higher levels.
For those of you reading the blog that teach inferencing, my students and I created a new gesture to help with this concept. We all know that inferencing takes what we read and what we already know. Our gesture goes like this:
1. Place your hands together as if you are reading a book. Then, say "First we read..."
2. Manipulate the arms to form a giant plus (addition) sign. Then, say "Plus..."
3. Tap your hands on your temples. Then say, "What I already know..."
4. Manipulate the arms to form a giant equals sign. Then, say "Equals..."
5. Place one finger on the mouth and look skyward as if thinking. Then say, "Inferencing!"
At first, I thought this might have been a goofy way to remember the skill. However, all day Thursday, the students could restate the gesture on demand with little or no problems. On Friday, one of the Mind Soccer questions was to show me the gestures for and state the steps of inferencing. I was so very pleased that the students were able to remember. This gesture will help students as they begin the inferencing foldable and graphic organizer will begin next week!
This week, I began my Aspiring Leaders Program with Polk County Schools. This program is a year long professional development course which prepares those with a Masters degree in Educational Leadership or Supervision to begin the process of applying for administrative jobs in the district. I know that this will be a long but worthwhile road. In my plan of success, I know that I will earn an administrative job one day which will allow me to further the WBT program. I want my teachers to use WBT, and I definitely know that I will use WBT in my professional development sessions that I get to deliver this year and in the future!
I am, by no means, the world's greatest teacher. However, I strive to live up to that level of professionalism each day. WBT is helping me do just that!