Hi Everyone and Welcome to Teacher Feature Tuesday! I really wanted to reach out and get to know different teachers from everywhere and thought you all probably did too! This week’s Teacher Feature is the lovely Shanyn from Coffee, Kids, and Compulsive Lists. Shanyn was one of the first blogs I ever did a giveaway for and she is fabulous. What’s even better is that she’s from Australia (Amy Howard, if you’re reading this, that Australia shout out is for you too!).
So everyone, let’s meet Shanyn!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am in my third year of teaching in the beautiful state of Queensland in Australia. I taught first grade for two years and this is my first year of second. I’m really enjoying the move from first to second. It has helped me reflect on what I would do differently if I were to teach first again. I have recently built and moved into my very first home with my wonderful partner (which has been a WHOLE journey on its own).
Why did you become a teacher?
Honestly, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left high school. I knew I wanted to study and people had always told me I’d make a good teacher. I ended up applying for my Bachelor in Primary Education and, although I didn’t always enjoy studying and wasn’t necessarily the best at it, I have never looked back. As soon as I started doing practical experiences as a student teacher I knew I was in the right profession.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
I love getting to know the children. Each child is different, comes from a different background and brings something different to the classroom. I also love to see how far they’ve come. Teaching is so ‘non-stop’ that we often forget to stop and reflect on the distance traveled – academically and behaviourally.
What is one thing you can’t live without in the classroom?
I can’t live without whiteboard pens, sharpies and books. I only discovered how great sharpies are this year!
Give us your #1 Tip for Teachers.
Sorry! I can’t just give one tip!
Tip #1: Get to know your kids. Research as much as you can before your first day so that you have some background on them. I like to do up a spreadsheet of name, birth date, religion, whether they speak English as a second language, if they have learning difficulties or disabilities and even their grade from the previous year. It gives me a rough idea on how I can group children for literacy and math.
Tip #2: New teachers: I’m not sure how it works overseas but in Queensland it can be pretty tough to get a job as a graduate. I didn’t have fantastic university results but I worked extremely hard to put together a good portfolio and CV. I put my own name out there and handed out resumes to as many schools as I could. That is how I ended up getting my job.
I could give SO many more tips but I had better leave some for others!
What is your favorite children’s book?
How can you have just one favourite children’s book? I love to read ‘Ruthie and the (not so) teeny tiny lie’ by Laura Rankin with the kids. It has a nice message for the little ones and can prompt some great meaningful conversations.
What’s your favorite product that you have for sale on TpT?
I think my favourite product at the moment would have to be my B.O.L.D Speaking an Presenting Skills Bulletin Display. I had some trouble encouraging and teaching my class to use good oral presentation skills and wanted to create something that taught them specific skills. You can read about it here http://coffeekidsandcompulsivelists.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/are-you-ready-to-be-bold.html.
Thanks so much Shanyn for sharing with us! Isn’t it so great that she doesn’t have just one fav child’s book…that is ME to a T! Head on over to Coffee, Kids, and Compulsive Lists and she what other great ideas Shanyn has in store. If you would like to be a part of our Tuesday Teacher Feature comment below or send me an e-mail. We would LOVE to get to know you better too!