This post comes from kindergarten teacher Sharon Davison. It was posted on June 17, 2014. I have taken her self-description from “About” on her blog.
My name is Sharon Davison and I have the pleasure of being a Kindergarten teacher in Vermont. I have been teaching for 25 + years. During my teaching career I have worked with 1st through 4th grade. I am now embarking on a new journey… Kindergarten!
Kindergarten is like a breath of fresh air everyday. Young children are curious and great observers. They naturally look for patterns, similarities and make connections spontaneously. Kindergarten life was designed and created by me with these ideas in mind. I love the daily energy and excitement that children bring each day. This genuine interest and love for learning is what I enjoy the most. Through a young child’s natural ability to seek out understanding I try to capture this idea to help promote the love of learning.
I use a variety of technologies that help to engage, enhance and inspire children to want to pursue their ideas. I have found that once you are inspired to learn, you learn how to learn through your ideas about what you understand. Blogging, wikis, voicethreads, podcasting, ePals and SKYPE are just a few of the technologies that I use to promote the love of learning in Kindergarten.
I value collaboration and innovation. The world is changing so fast and the tools that are available to support, enhance and engage from a teaching view are endless.
As I am finishing up last minute things in my classroom today I was thinking about all the different ways my students have been mentors this past year with each other, helping model how to tweet and blog with other classrooms as well as sharing their expertise with adults.
Last spring a teacher approached me and wanted to observe how I use technology with my students and was also interested in how I use the SMARTboard as well. I asked one of my students to provide additional support and more 1:1 time after our meeting. As I watched and listened to the conversation I was really impressed with not only how comfortable my student was with the SMART technology, but the problem solving that took place during this 1:1 support time with a teacher. I loved seeing the teacher take notes as she asked questions about not only the operation of the board, but what happens when things go wrong and do not work. Watching my student navigate through how to solve problems as they arise was really wonderful.
I am not only proud of all my students, but this experience reminded me of the importance of self direction, problem solving and critical thinking. All of these ideas were happening at once and being facilitated by one of my kindergarten students. As a teacher of young children I have a unique opportunity to model explicitly how synchronous and asynchronous tools can be integrated in a seamless way in regards to learning. Once my students understood how this tool works, how we use it, then they are able to create and design their ideas as well and make contributions. Through our contributions and being able to teach and share what we know with others we get inspired, experience positive self esteem and make connections. This student was empowered because she was able to make a contribution, help another teacher and engage in conversations that challenged her thinking and helped her reflect on what she has learned. For this amazing teacher, my friend, I think about what great professional development this was for her!