As you know, Seven Peaks’ students are the beneficiary of some very talented and professional teachers. I’d like to highlight a recent accomplishment of a new staff member, Kayla Collins. Kayla is our new 1st grade teacher and recently returned from Chicago where she presented for a large consortium of independent schools.
Her topic was “21st Century Educational Strategies and Brain Research.” The overall theme for the day was, “they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Kayla then spent the day diving into four ways that educators can reach their students though the acronym, C.A.R.E.: Character development, Atmosphere, Relationships, and Engagement. Under the first pillar, character development, she taught about the three categories of character (performance, moral, civic) and how educators can integrate these three types of character development into their curriculum in order to gain stronger classroom management by giving their students ownership of their learning.
The next pillar was on classroom atmosphere in which Kayla shared how to set up flexible seating to be successful and the brain research behind creating classroom settings that encourage movement and a variety of learning experiences throughout the day. As they moved into the topic of relationships, the educators spent time gaining ideas of how to make relationships the heart of the classroom. A classroom cannot be successful without strong teacher-student relationships, and Kayla went into strategies to help build these relationships and make the focus of the classroom on student interests. The final pillar of the day was student engagement. This time was spent with the educators laughing, running around the room performing grammar skits written by Kayla, and experiencing several creative ways that showed how it is possible to integrate rigorous curriculum with engaging, hands-on lessons.
Even if you don’t have children in first grade, please take a second someday to pop into Kayla’s classroom and observe. Her expertise is a great complement to our school. Want to know more? Visit https://www.facebook.com/teachlikeyoumeanit/.