A huge thank you to Nick Provenzano, The Nerdy Teacher, for getting this hashtag going today. It has kept me smiling all day long.
My contribution is all about Mrs. Fitzgerald (in 140 characters).
I was a major talker. My swim teacher actually called me ‘motor mouth’ rather than Catina. Good grief. Mrs. Fitzgerald had the most amazing patience (I realize only after my own experiences with such talkative students). I was one to have a conversation with my neighbor, use 2 pencils as tweezers and fish things out of my soup can pencil holder all the while knowing what she was talking about and answering her questions when called on. How annoying. But she didn’t berate me, didn’t call me out, just acknowledged that I knew what was going on, asked respectfully that I not impede my neighbor’s learning and moved on. Classy.
Her centers were a marvel to me. In my memory, it feels like there are 7 or 8 centers around the room. I realize that’s probably exaggerated but it says a lot about how dynamic things were. One center was run by Mrs. Fitzgerald and the others were supervised by her full-time aid, Mrs. Castenada. Yes, full-time aid. This was in the late 70’s and in 6th grade my school closed. I drive by occasionally; it’s a Head Start.
I loved the movement and working with a small group. It was right up my talkative alley. I don’t remember if it was subject specific or not. We did have catchy names to our groups to know how to rotate though. And of course, making it around to Mrs. Fitzgerald’s center was a highlight. So much smiling, positive feedback and work–she kept us busy, thinking, talking & doing!
And finally, my inspiration to teach comes straight from 3rd grade. I loved that rooms, those kids and that teacher. I’m sure my remembrances are very rose-tinted and more idyllic that realistic but the fact remains… I’m a fourteen-year veteran of elementary classrooms and I love it. It’s 100% a result of that 3rd grade year.
Mrs. Fitzgerald Did a Good Thing! And I hope I do too, everyday, with every students I possibly can.
Thanks again Nick!