Twenty-three eager Eagles are the newest Hoggatteers in Joplin, Missouri, USA.
I heartily welcome this fine collection of students to the family:
Do you think you are ready for an amazing fourth grade year? Really? If things go as planned, this year will be unlike any other in your educational life. While there are things we have to do to fulfill the demands of the federal and state governments (and the district's approach to such), I will always strive to be eclectic in my approach to the classroom.
First Things First
For example, one of the first priorities for your new teacher is to establish some protocol for approaching and speaking to one another, to other teachers, and to adults in general. We will work on, believe it or not, properly shaking hands and looking people in the eye. We will practice active listening skills - including something called tracking.
I know you will want to get right into the learnin', but we absolutely must get it through our heads that we are a family. We will support each other through our actions and speech. We will cheer for effort and for success. We will accept each other's idiosyncrasies and differences. We will find ways to celebrate our differences.
In fact, we will publicly identify our own mistakes - yes, publicly, but in a safe and civil atmosphere. We will correct ourselves and help others when they have needs. We will work through problems painstakingly, not minding the investment of time when it will be beneficial to spend it. And then - again - we will celebrate the great effort to grow and learn.
There is a difference in the teacher handing out corrections and answers willy-nilly, and the manner in which our classroom operates. Students will be allowed - even encouraged - to struggle through issues and problems, and they will be rewarded intrinsically when they do. When learning and growing require struggle, learning and growing are appreciated so much more.
Not only is there a teacher in Room 404; there are students who look for ways to assist others. In the last few years, Room 404 has earned a reputation of being very close: a family indeed! We install a foundation of passion, compassion, and good manners, we build memories, and we cap it all with academic rigor.
Look out, here we go! Keep your arms and legs inside the classroom at all times.