Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday cheer.

Each month and/or season/holiday I design a new bulletin board outside of my classroom that is somewhat related to the time of year.  My goal with each board is to showcase my students' work and promote advocacy for children with special needs.  I also want these bulletin boards to stir up a sense of happiness and joy for anyone that sees them.  I try to include an inspirational quote (this month's being very tongue-in-cheek, yet educationally appropriate too).  I'm especially happy with the December theme as you will see below.  

My school hosts a door decorating contest each December so I decided to carry the bulletin theme over to the door and windows.  My inspiration comes from what I would have liked as a child (and still do).  I've always enjoyed classic holiday cartoons (such as clay-mation, Charlie Brown, Dr. Seuss, etc.) and all of Grimm's fairy tales.  For December I went with the classic Grimm Fairy Tale The Gingerbread Man.

The theme starts on the right with the little house and moves to the left ending at the gingerbread house.  As you will notice, my students (plus Judah) are gingerbread kids and myself and the paraprofessionals are the various people/animals (little old lady, farmer/lumberjack, cow, and fox) chasing them. 

I worked construction for many years, I like to create and build stuff.  Obviously the transition to teaching was a huge gap and I don't get to build much as a teacher, so I have to create things like bulletin boards.  You're probably asking where I find the time to do this.  I have two great paraprofessionals and a class full of kids that like to color.  I make bulletin activities a whole class project.  As you have noticed, each student created their own gingerbread self.  Since taking these pictures each student has also designed ornaments to decorate the many Christmas trees. 

This week we're learning about the letter "G".  To wrap up the week's lessons on Friday we will be making gingerbread houses.  I love my job!  It beats digging ditches and I get to hang out, teach, and learn from the raddest little kids around.

Doing things like this reminds me of how fortunate and blessed I am.  Without kids I would have turned hard and angry.  Teaching keeps me young and tender at heart.  It also restores what little faith I have left in humanity.  Life is too short not to enjoy what we do for a living and we live in a country that gives us the opportunity to pursue those things.  Kids rule and keep me smiling every day.


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