Back to school preparations

What exactly goes on in a classroom before the students return to school?

Let me take you behind the scenes of our Smartt Cottage school.

Cleaning, sorting, arranging, and rearranging, printing, filing, material making, are only a few of the items on a teacher’s list, that most would probably guess if asked what they believe a teacher does.

We also sort through all materials on the shelves to ensure they are still relevant and replace old with new material to ensure that the classroom is functional and practical for each student. The School planner is also prepared in advance. Research for school outings and other school activities are laid out for the year.

Once all the major tasks have been completed it’s time to let the creative juices flow and come up with ideas to make the first day back to school memorable and allow them to ease back into the school environment to allow them to feel comfortable with their surroundings and peers.

The year 2021 is upon us and we are excited for the return of our students for the new year. As a cottage school, we are able to give each of our students that one on one attention that helps them to accomplish their goals. It also allows us to tailor our curriculum to each individual, allowing them the ability and confidence in all aspects of their work. This entices them into areas or subjects that they may not feel 100% confident in.

What do I mean by “tailor our curriculum”? Well, each child is unique in all aspects from looks, personality to interests and hobbies. Even with twins (and we have 2 sets of twins in our class ?), their learning should be unique too.  You may ask, “How?” Well, although the physical “content” for the year is the same per grade for each child, how the content is presented and what it contains may differ.

Let’s look at an example:

I have 2 students that will be heading into grade 7 this year. The first topic in English may be abbreviations. Student A is interested in Army Tanks, dinosaurs, and programming therefore an exercise where he can search for abbreviations that correspond with these subjects corresponds with his interests; while student B, who enjoys photography, horse riding, Art, and English would find abbreviations connecting with her interests. Both students could also search for articles about their subjects of interest that contain abbreviations and so be given the chance to research their meaning.

This method of teaching keeps the child engaged in their work and excited to learn. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride as they research and find the answers for themselves.

Soon the classroom will be ready, and I am looking forward to the first day of school and having the classroom filled with the chatter of the students telling their holiday tales.

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