“Is it time to pack up already?” These words are one of the biggest compliments a teacher can hear at the end of the day. I love when my students look so surprised when I prompt them to begin their end of the day routines. For me, this means that time flew by... and we all know that time flies when you’re having fun!
Having fun is a big part of who I am as a teacher. Having two children of my own, I know the importance of having those dinner conversations with your own children when they return from school. As a new teacher, I never wanted my students to go home and reply ‘nothing’ when asked at dinner what they did at school that day. Learning is an exciting process, and a classroom is the perfect place to ignite that spark of curiosity.
My name is Erin Klein, and I teach second grade at an independent school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I couldn’t ask to teach in a better learning environment. Our campus is home to a planetarium, art and science institute, and a natural landscape that takes your breath away. Passing by the creative art on the walls, seeing the smiling faces walk by, and hearing the buzz of happy children in the halls reminds me of the best part of my work: the students.
As a former interior design major at Michigan State University, I’ve been able to take what I have learned in my design studies and apply them to the aesthetics of developing a brain-friendly space for my learners. Our learning transcends the walls of our classroom. We enjoy reading by the brook, conferencing in the garden, and making observations on our walks as we take in the sculptures, art, animals, and landscape. Noticing the importance of design only enhances the authentic opportunities for student achievement.
Our classroom walls not only extend beyond our building and our campus but across the globe as well. As an advocate for meaningful integration of technology, my students have benefited from connecting with peers and mentors all over the world. I look forward to sharing the many ways we utilize a variety of tools in our classroom to support and extend the work we do together in our second grade classroom.
I look forward to sharing the work we do together with all of you through Scholastic’s Top Teaching Blog.