This years ends my tenth year teaching, from San Diego Unified to California's Central Valley. This is the end of my seventh year teaching fifth grade. I have a CLAD credential, a Special Ed credential (mild to moderate disabilities) and a supplemental in English Language Arts. I am the mother of three, ages 2, 5, 7. The next thing on my horizon is getting GATE certification and getting my Spanish up to par.
Every kid is a genius. Unfortunately, not every kid considers themselves as such. There are language barriers, social barriers.... and my entire job is to knock down the things that stand in the way of my students' progress. In my store, everything is simple, geared towards the student who doesn't understand. No cluttered-up directions. No cutesy cartoons. No wordy word problems. Straight to the meat of the matter. I want kids grappling with the concept, not the activity. So, in my classroom, everything is simpler, cleaner.
Awards and honors and trophies mean nothing. No one will ever give you a trophy for the greatest accomplishments. For me, I overcome poverty. I am the first in my entire family to own a home, to graduate college, to travel for pleasure, to save for retirement. (Even my mother still thinks it crazy to put money in a retirement account... she calls it 'wasting it'.) I grew up pretty poor (don't judge me... San Diego has lots of poor too!) and I completely overcame it. Everything I do in education is for the lowly, humble kids who have one ticket out of their own poverty, Like or hate Obama, he said it best "The best anti-poverty program is a world-class education."
Man, I hated fifth grade. If I got less than a 60%, it was back on my desk to re-do. I always thought, "If I knew how to do it right in the first place, I would have already done it.... grrrrr." So, I grew up, and tried to become the adult I needed when I was ten.
Check me out on youtube for some great videos to help your class with those hard to understand concepts...Search for Ms. Brenner's random facts.... and start exploring!
English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Creative Writing, Reading, Grammar, Specialty, Math, Applied Math, Basic Operations, Fractions, Geometry, Order of Operations, Other (Math), Social Studies - History, Ancient History, U.S. History, World History, Math Test Prep, Gifted and Talented, Literature, Word Problems, Short Stories, Writing, Reading Strategies, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Decimals, Place Value, Informational Text, Test Preparation