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Top Teaching Blogger

Allie Magnuson

I've been teaching kindergarten in North Las Vegas, Nevada at C. P. Squires School for 11 years, where I love the students and staff. Sometimes looping the same class to the next grade level, I have taught four grade levels (K–3) in four schools. Previously, I taught for 15 years in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I teach in a prominently Hispanic community, filled with enthusiastic learners and supportive families. My classroom has plenty of space, and the desert sun shines through a wall of windows. Because my kindergarteners have fun and move around a lot, they think they are playing when they're actually learning! Centers keep students busy and engaged with a diverse selection of activities, freeing me to work with guided reading groups. Writing time keeps junior scribers quiet and reflective, as they sit and look at posters and the Word Wall, allowing me conference with their classmates to prepare them for the Author's Chair. Writing is the favorite time of day, and at the end of the year we celebrate writing by inviting families and the principal to listen to young authors read their favorite piece.

As a child, my dream was to become a kindergarten teacher. Now, I am a teacher who impresses young minds with ABCs and 123s, “The Golden Rule” and “Safety First,” and one who shows that early dreams can become a reality. To that effect, each September my students brainstorm their hopes and dreams for their kindergarten year and tack them to our big bulletin board. Hopes and dreams are simple at this age: "I hope I get to work on the computers," "I hope I can read books." At the end of the year we review their hopes and find that most of them have become a reality. Those that haven't may become so next year.

Educating children is important to me. They become our leaders, guardians, caretakers, civil servants, and volunteers. They will find cures, invent solutions, inspire people, and make discoveries. They will be mothers, fathers, champions, heroes . . . and teachers. My goal is to help children realize there is nothing they cannot do. If you walked into my classroom today, you would see students who are encouraged to do their best, because I believe in their ability and in their possibility. When I get a hug at the end of the day, or an "I love you, Teacher," I know I am doing something right.

Top Teaching bloggers are paid contributors for the Scholastic Teachers website.

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PreK–K

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Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2