The other day, a teacher asked me, “If I could do one thing that would change my classroom, what would it be?”
I had to think about it. The elements of a great classroom are true for any grade level. And my first reactions would have been:
- Read the greats: Don Graves, Mem Fox, Jerome Bruner, Thomas Newkirk.
- Join the professional conversation: NCTE, ILA, attend. Present. Visit with peers, both famous and not.
- Don’t stop learning. Let kids see you learning.
- Constantly clean out your teaching closet, throwing out things that don’t work, and expanding on things that do.
- Let your kids see you writing and talking about what you write.
- Let your kids see you reading and talking about what you read.
And then I slept on the question.
Now, a few days later, I have an answer for her, one that I wish someone had told me when I was starting out.