We are thrilled to introduce a component of our Alesi Group Early Foundations capturing the developmental and educational experiences of children 9-12 years of age, led by Educational Consultant, Roxanne Brown! If you haven't heard of Roxanne, it's probably because she’s balancing the complexities of parenting, her work with Alesi Group, and being in the classroom as a 7th and 8th GRADE TEACHER! Roxanne's background is in education, with experience in both early childhood education and middle school. Her ability to effectively support Alesi Group’s statewide effort in reaching schools across the state, informing them of The Kindergarten Experience has been a game changer for us. We’re excited to share her passion and her dynamic teaching approaches as another resource for teachers and administrators as her instructional strategies align with our statewide effort in preparing children for the 21st Century! Roxanne is currently teaching Entrepreneurship within the Washington Elementary School District at Mountain Sky Junior High, which has proven incredibly insightful to us as we are consistently seeking evidence that the foundations in early childhood education are indeed significant to academic success.
We hope you enjoy one of many reflections from Roxanne and the journey of her junior high students!
Today in class:
Excerpt from a speech presentation -
"You may look at this picture and think it's just some leaves and trees, no big deal. Not to me. I see colors. I see beauty. I see art. While you might stop for a minute to look around, I would spend an hour here. Art is everywhere." - Carolina, 7th grader
We practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. We write, discuss, observe, re-write, peer review, re-write again, and go through a teacher approval process before we are ready to present in front of the class. It takes time. A LOT of time. The length of the process is uncomfortable for a majority of students. It requires discipline, patience, focus, dedication, and commitment.
The role of the teacher during this process is as a guide. I give them their space and time to do their work, help them discover areas of improvement and strengths, and remind them to help one another in addition to working on their own assignment. The amount of support they give each other is impressive to watch. Please know we took time in the beginning of the school year to build a strong foundation for who we are in the classroom and how we would treat each other. Statements like these were heard at the beginning of some speech presentations today without any teacher prompting or requirement: "You can do it." "We are all family here." "We are here for you."
Real, relevant, and meaningful learning experiences allow students to be creative, communicate authentically, think critically, and collaborate with others throughout the learning process. What a great time to be a teacher!
To learn more about Roxanne Brown's 7th and 8th Grade Entrepreneur students classroom reflections, you can also follow her blog page on Medium or catch her on Twitter.