Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday's Featured Teacher and Freebie... Meet Kim Remmers

Meet Kim Remmers over at
Diving into Differentiation

What do you teach? And where? 
I teach upper elementary.  This coming year it will be fourth grade.  I am the High Ability Learners liaison and this year will be an Instructional Facilitator for our building.

What is one of your favorite memories in the classroom?
My favorite memories always come when a student gets the aha bulb look or realize that I won't accept the easy answer.  The easy answer is on a sliding scale depending on the ability of each student.  In particular, one of the memories that jump out at me happened at the start of this past year.  One of my students who I had the year prior walked up and wanted to read his writing to me.  He started reading then just stopped.  Looked at me and said, "I know."  as if he I had stopped him and he was answering me.  He picked up his paper and said, "I didn't do my best.  I will go back and work on some of my word choice."  I just smiled and told him that if he felt it needed work he should do that.  The previous year my mantra to him was always, "Is this your best?"  I always took his word for it.  Obviously, it had soaked in and he was starting to self-monitor. YEA!!!

What was your hardest experience while teaching? How did you overcome it.
My hardest experience was when one of my kindergartners was diagnosed with a very rare childhood cancer.  She was not given much time to live but beat the odds and made it over a year.  She would come to school when it was possible and I went to tutor her at home when she was not in Omaha Children's Hospital.  I cannot say I overcame it.  I learned to look brave and act normal when she was at school or home.  She needed me to be normal with her.  I use that lesson with all of my students.  They need me to be "normal" no matter what is going on so they can feel okay in our room for 7 1/2 hours.

What advice would you give a new teacher or someone switching grade levels?
Oh...this is a great question!  FLEXIBLITY is my advice. I am actually the third wheel in our building.  I was asked to start teaching a kindergarten class twenty four hours before parents were to walk in the building.  The district decided we needed a third section.  I was not sure I wanted to go back to full time teaching since I still had my youngest in elementary school.  This however was the third knock (all different building that needed a third kindergarten teacher) that summer and I decided God wanted me there.  So, I said yes.  That was the start of 6 years of being flexible.  I taught kindergarten for two years, then fourth, and last year fifth.  Next year I will be back to fourth.  We need to be able to float with the day, the hour, the second.  It maybe learning how to teach in the hallway when you have to evacuate a classroom due to one who has lost control.  Being ready to teach, if a specialist cannot teach your class that day.  Not to even mention the flexibility to stop the merry-go-round when the concept is not sinking into the students' brains. FLEXIBLE is key to survival and ultimate JOY in teaching.

Kim would like to offer all followers a 

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