One of the things that I love about teaching fifth graders is what I call the “teacher effect”. Yes, I just made that up. What is it? The standard dictionary definition would look something like this. The ability to influence students in a positive manner due to your role as a teacher.
Here’s a specific example of how it looks like in my classroom. I tell my students about a new children’s book I just read. I give them a brief synopsis, then tell the students I will put the book in the classroom library. Then, I ask the students who would like to borrow the book. Without fail, almost the entire class shoots their hands up, excited and hoping to be chosen. I bring our class cup with colorful popsicle sticks with the name of all the students in the class. I choose names randomly, deciding on the order for who will borrow the books first.
A few days to a week later, there is a buzz growing about the book. As students start talking about it and what they think about it, I overhear conversations about it! I have a few particular students this year, that are always asking me for recommendations. They seem to think that I know all the “good” books.
I finally had some time to read a few really good children’s books this past weekend. I absolutely loved The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo, and immediately started doing a class read aloud with it. I also read So B. It. by Sarah Weeks. I was reading the ending in the hair salon and had to hold back the tears! I just finished rereading The Hunger Games (first book) as well. What can I say, except that I am soo excited for the movie to come out in March. Of course, I told my students all about this. I’m pretty sure all the copies of So B. It & The Tiger Rising are checked out by my students!
How have you seen the “teacher effect” working in your classroom? 🙂
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