my name is Elyse Cortez and I am currently a 3rd year teacher. I have primarily taught first grade but have experience working will all elementary grade levels. I am eager to improve myself in the classroom and to find more variety of instructional methods.
From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher. This meant that I was constantly studying my teachers and memorizing my favorite things about them. Some of my best practices came from my own teachers growing up.
As a teacher I believe that it is my job not only to provide students with the language arts and mathematical skills they need to succeed in society but to also provide them with the social and emotional skills they will need to become productive citizens in our world.
This means that when I teach I make sure that all of my practices are developmentally appropriate and that I give students plenty of responsibility. Too often I witness schools trying to push preschool students to read or have elementary students sit in a desk for hours on end. These practices do not align with what we know about child development. I believe that students should not be forced to sit all day. I am an advocate for flexible seating in the classroom. Not only does this give students choice and allow for more differentiation but it also allows for students to have more movement in the classroom.
In my first grade classroom I like to scaffold responsibility. The year starts out with first graders having support, help, and plenty of reminders for various jobs and tasks in class. My goal by the end of the year is not only for first graders to have full responsibility for all their classwork and homework but also to take over several teacher responsibilities like refilling supplies, handing out papers, and leading small group activities.
I am also a firm believer in FUN! Yes, FUN, needs to be in all capital letters. I believe that it is my duty to incite a love for learning in all of my students. I do this with FUN! While it is impossible to make every lesson and activity FUN, I believe that there should be set routines throughout the day that brings joy to students. I do this often by singing a lot in class and having students join along, I will play music in class, give clues and magic words to start my directions or have the class pretend to be ninjas on an important mission as we creep silently down the hall to art.
These elementary years are the foundation for the type of scholar, citizen and overall person my students will become. I take great pride in this, knowing any small thing I do now could stay with a student for the rest of their lives. This is why I am constantly trying to better myself and my teaching practices. My knowledge as a teacher will never be complete because I will be constantly learning as I go. For now, I will continue to give everything that I have.
Thank you for visiting my adventures in learning,