On the third day of school students will be given a box. (Students can bring a box from home if they prefer) I have collected boxes throughout the summer from many different stores to give to the students on the third day of school. Vineyard Vines and LuLu Lemon’s boxes are usually my students’ favorites because of the magnetic closures. Talbots also has pretty red boxes, and the Tiffany blue box is iconic. These boxes are decorated by students and will be filled with students’ hopes, dreams, and what they want to accomplish throughout school and life. My classroom is filled with souvenirs, pictures, brochures, and maps from my travels, and students are encouraged to add these items to their treasure box of Hopes and Dreams. Some items in the past have been too big for students’ Hope & Dream boxes, so they have taken them home as a reminder of what they want to accomplish in life.
Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms with dreams of going to France or China. They are welcome to use some of my pictures of Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, paper lanterns from China, terra cotta warrior miniature statues from the First Emperor’s tomb in Xian, or any of my flags from around the world, and so much more.
These boxes have not only given inspiration for the year, but I have learned that it sticks for many as they move on from my classroom. Years later, students have written to me that they are still going after their hopes and dreams. In fact, some dreams have been reported to be accomplished and new goals have been established. Here’s an example, “Hey Ms. Barnes long time no speak. This is Jacob your old Read 180 student at Aragon. I've been really busy with high school. Now I'm a freshman in college.” I taught Jacob as a seventh grader many years ago, and his goal was to go to college!
Start your year off on a positive note, and let it grow in your students all year long. It will make for a happy day for you and your students not just in week one, but in a random week in the future when you get a message from a former student.
Have a wonderful Back to School and share your ideas with us.
Philosophy of Teaching All of my life, I have enjoyed working with children and have always desired to teach. It is my belief that no matter what socio-economic background, everyone deserves to achieve his/her educational goals. It is my ambition to facilitate this process.Growing up in the Houston area, I have always been aware of the Cypress-Fairbanks School District. The district's reputation of excellence is well known, not only in the Houston metroplex, but throughout the state of Texas. As a professional educator, it is important to be associated with a school district whose goals for its students are aligned with my philosophy of teaching.