The Magic of Being a Teacher

Before I begin, when I say teacher, I am not only talking about a classroom teacher. I am talking about all forms of teaching and impacting children: parents, caregivers, grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends, neighbors. It takes a village, right?

I teach second grade. Second graders are seven or eight years old. Let me describe the average second grader to you:
1. happy
2. excited about school
3. talkative and willing to share thoughts/ideas
4. willingness to please and work hard

Not all students walk into my classroom this way. Some students are shy, scared, stubborn, argumentative, angry, etc.

Some students ping-pong from a variety of mixed emotions as we spend 9 months together due to a variety of reasons or life situations.

There is magic in being a teacher. As a teacher, we have the GIFT to work with students so they know they are safe in our classroom, teach them the necessary academic skills as well as work on life skills to help facilitate kindness, empathy and compassion.

I believe that every single teacher has heard it over and over again about taking time at the beginning of the school year to set clear expectations and build rapport with students. However, doing that at the beginning of the year and never revisiting it, does not work. Over the years, I have found myself asking students, “Do you know why I am here? Do you know what my job is?”

I have to explicitly remind my students throughout the year that I am there to help them learn and to help them learn to solve problems. It is not enough to say it once or twice. We have to constantly remind our students what our job is and that we are here for them.

It is so important to start the school year off with meaningful conversations, positivity, clear expectations, kindness, inclusion and diversity. Picture books allow teachers the opportunity to introduce or review a wide variety of topics that often shine a beautiful spotlight on diversity and inclusion. Below are a list of 21 picture books I will be using to begin my school year.

I Am EnoughGrace ByersKindness, respect, self-love
The Invisible BoyTrudy LudwigFinding strengths and celebrating strengths
The Arabic QuiltAya KhalilCelebrating culture and written language
The Lemonade HurricaneLicia MorelliMindfulness and meditation
Your Name is a SongJamilah Thompkins-BigelowCelebrating the beauty in names
There’s No Dream Too TallAmie DeanEmpowerment and dreaming
F is for FeelingsGoldie Millar & Lisa A. BergerIdentifying and exploring feelings
The World Needs More Purple PeopleKristen Bell & Benjamin HartCelebrating all people
PerfectMax AmatoFinding beauty in mistakes and
working together
How To Get Your Teacher ReadyJean ReaganHumorous how-to book about teachers
What Does It Mean To Be Kind?Rana DiOrioKindness and empathy
The Name JarYangsook ChoiCelebrating the beauty in names
Happy DreamerPeter H. ReynoldsDreaming and uniqueness
We Are The Same In A Different WayRenee Ecckles-HardyCelebrating all people
Kindness is a Kite StringMichelle SchaubKindness and empathy
The Word CollectorPeter H. ReynoldsCelebrating the importance of words
Wonderfully MadeKaitlyn Derosiers & MEgan McBrydeCelebrating all families
Books in the ParkElle MontemayorCelebrating the importance of reading
Say Hello!Rachel IsadoraCelebrating languages
Nella’s Kindness KicksNelliRose FarellaKindness and effects of actions
All Are WelcomeAlexandra PenfoldCelebrating all people

What are you favorite books to start your school year or to read to the children in your life? I would love to continue to grow my classroom library. Please put the titles in the comments.

I invite you to visit my instagram page to see the video reel showcasing all the books above.

3 thoughts on “The Magic of Being a Teacher

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