Alphabet Meditations for Teachers
By Nancy Oelklaus EdD
As you stare out at a classroom of little eyes starting right back at you. Sometimes you wonder am I reaching them? Do they understand the information I am presenting? A sense of panic goes through the body. They you begin to say to yourself… Am I a good teacher? When the same information is presented why does child one receives A’s and child two get F’s? Most fall into the cycle of present test then grade. We stop seeing the children as individuals with different needs and levels of understanding. Teaching becomes a routine instead of a desire to relay knowledge.
Alphabet Meditations offers a chance to block out the negative and remember why we teach and what is it about it we love. It reminded me that a successful classroom needs to have laughter, happiness and imagnation. I’m not saying grades, curriculums and benchmarks are not important. They are just a portion of what should record a student’s progress.
I loved this book it made me smile and take a moment to think about why I want to be a teacher. I am a certified teacher w/o a classroom right now but I can relate to everything in the book. There were two sections that really spoke to me the one on change and the one about parents.
In the section on change it states “Change is such a normal part of my daily existence…. So why am I so reluctant to change my lesson plan … the way I teach?” I have found myself in this pattern before about seventy percent of the class understands how I taught something. The other thirty percent look at me with glazed expressions! As an educator I am not happy until I’ve reached them all. I think about it and realize for those that didn’t understand I have to change my approach. In the back of my mind I know that not everyone learns the same way. I myself learn in non-traditional ways most of the time. Yet it is hard for me to change a perfectly good lesson half of the time. This section made me realize that I have to be more willing to change for the benefit of my students.
The parent section made me laugh. It is so true to help our students learn the most they can we have to work with not against the parents. We both want the best for the kids. Teachers work with the kids during the night. The parents have them the rest of the time. We need to cooperate not bicker over methods and homework assignments!
Nancy Oelklaus did a fantastic job with this book. It is easy to read and heartfelt. It gives good examples of the things that teachers sometimes do. It also helps remind them what not to do and why. I feel this book would not only be a great asset to educators but even to anyone in a leadership position. I could even see the guide with small adaptations being a wonderful parenting guide. I would highly recommend this book as an addition to any professional or even personal book collection!