In elementary school, I had a wonderful APT teacher who allowed us to be creative in her classroom. Actually, she DEMANDED creativity.
When you walked into my teacher’s classroom, she had sections set up for every area of your brain to exercise: math/computers, science, and language arts/creative supplies were all readily available. Her class, to this day, had one of the best classroom economy arrangements of all time. We were paid for our work, wrote deposit slips, and entered our deposits into the way-rad early 1990’s Apple computers using a floppy disk. A REAL, LIVE, COMPUTER! It was almost as awesome as playing Oregon Trail! At the end of the quarter, we would have auctions, sales, and a classroom store where we could spend all of our loot.
We made early pioneer hard tack, touched a sheep’s brain (GROSS!), and were challenged with logic math puzzles. (I still have a soft spot for using these puzzles in my classroom, and you can often find them in my math practice packs.) We devoured Jr. Great Books, Ray Bradbury pieces, and other short stories. (One of which, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” still haunts me today. Ok, maybe that isn’t such a good thing…)
My teacher’s favorite color was pink, and she WORE. PINK. Pink clothes. Pink shoes. Metallic pink lipstick. She marched to the beat of her own drummer, and I admired that. She was very much comfortable with who she was as a teacher, and had an obvious passion for nature and finding zest in life.
As a kid who was outgoing but sensitive, I enjoyed that outlet of creativity. My teacher’s classroom was a safe haven for me, but allowed me to be pushed to step out of my comfort zone of learning.
I am thankful for that teacher. I am thankful for the many educators, educational assistants, and other loving adults that helped me to grow as a learner, and now continue to help me grow as an educator.
Today, I continue to be amazed with the hundreds of heroes I get to work with each day. In the past year, I have been even more inspired by connecting with teachers from around the world through technology and TeachersPayTeachers. You all amaze me with your dedication and love for your students. You are all my heroes.
Who inspired you? Who continues to inspire you? Let me know in the comments below!