I come from a long line of teachers on my father’s side. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher myself. One of my earliest memories is from 1968 when the teachers in New York City, where I grew up, went on strike. To fill my spare time, I played school with my siblings and friends. Of course, I was the teacher! So, it is no surprise that I was the one who carried the educational torch for my generation and became a teacher right out of college. After that, it was a done deal — I, Rhonda Givens (now Rhonda Stewart), began my journey to fullfill my dream of entering the teaching profession.
Fast forward to 2017. I have been an educator now since — well, let’s just say for a very long time! Yet, not long enough to hang up my (interactive) writer’s pen because there are still lessons for me to teach and students and colleagues from whom to learn. I have seen the teaching profession go through many evolutions through the years, just as I have also evolved throughout my career.
I began as a teacher of grades K–5, progressed to run professional development workshops, became a literacy coach, and even explored the administrative side of education as a vice principal for a while. However, I am finishing my career back in the classroom as a sixth grade literacy teacher, having come to the realization that teaching children is really where my heart and passions lie.
The term “lifelong learner” is one of the bits of educational jargon bantered around our profession. It rings true for me since I do believe that is who I am. I feel that, through my learning, I grow as a teacher and a professional. I am looking forward to this year’s school journey, as I always do. And I look forward to sharing ideas and tips — particularly for the new teacher — as a Scholastic teacher blogger. Here’s to another great year of teaching and learning!
Top Teaching bloggers are paid contributors for the Scholastic Teachers website.
Use the turning of the year as a time for your students to reflect on what they are doing well and what needs improving. Revisiting goals set in September helps keep students on the path to success in the classroom.
While April is Poetry Month, poetry has its place throughout the school year. Explore using poetry as a mentor text or use one of the ideas from the Dear Poet project to help poetry come to life in your classroom.