Mental Nutrition

August 16, 2010 at 5:20 PM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

I have always big a strong supporter of teaching my students responsibility.  Being a 3rd grade teacher, I have always felt my students were a perfect age because they are NOT too young to function on their own and NOT too old to want to disagree with you.  I have used this to my advantage in my classroom!  Along with teaching the latest Math, Reading, Writing and Social Studies curriculum, I like to throw in a bit of the real world in my classroom.  I frequently have discussions with my students about their future: how to set goals for the future and how they must work HARD to achieve their goals.  Each year in my classroom, we ALWAYS have the, “you can be ANYTHING you want to be when you grow up conversation!”  I make sure to have this conversation with my students because I:

  1. Believe in that statement and
  2. I believe in them!

My school is classified as a Title I school- definition: Low income and high poverty.  Most of these students hardly have enough to eat each day.   They are not worried about what they are going to be when they grow up when their little tummies are grumbling.  Heartbreaking-I know, but it’s true!  As their teacher, it is my responsibility to plant this seed of knowledge and hope and to provide enough “mental nutrition” for their seeds to grow!  Once this knowledge has been given, it then becomes their responsibility to begin working on their future-with my guiding them of course!  “How can they do that when they are only 8 or 9 years of age?”  This is how:

  1. Asking questions when something isn’t clear
  2. Completing all homework assignments
  3. Thinking about what they enjoy doing.  Most of the times, I can connect their enjoyment to a career and share that information with them.
  4. Setting short term and Long-term goals

I think it important to note that if high expectations are set then our students and children will strive to meet and exceed those expectations.  Again I say, it is never too early to begin teaching younger ones responsibility.  When you break it down, they are the ones that are responsible for the futures and happiness.  It isn’t too early to begin to instill this concept into their young minds.

Happy Learning!

© Jennifer Perez 8/13/10

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Entry filed under: Parent Tips, Teacher Tips. Tags: , , , , , , .

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