Dressing up as a queen to introduce the letter ‘Q’ and the way it seems and sounds was a comparatively simple selection for kindergarten instructor Alex Kellemen.
“It was the ‘V’ that stumped me for some time, after which I got here up with making a paper volcano and hanging it on my belt,” Kellemen says.
Identified for her modern educating ways that embody carrying colourful costumes to help conventional studying, Kellemen often delights college students, dad and mom and fellow lecturers at Alta Vista Elementary College by exhibiting up at college dressed as a mouse, dinosaur, rabbit, and king, amongst others. Someday she wore a cluster of balloons.
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If her exploits give college students and colleagues causes to start out their days with laughs, she’s high-quality with that.
“At college we’re primarily one massive household, so it’s essential to make optimistic impacts which have ripple results. Plus, I like to make folks snort, and I discover happiness in serving to others,” Kellemen says.
Alta Vista Principal Dr. Barbara Shirley describes Kellemen as a beloved instructor and powerful instructional practitioner whose optimistic affect and attain go far past her classroom.
“Alex has the distinctive skill to construct a rapport with college students in all grade ranges, their households, and workers. College students love her as a result of she acknowledges their individuality. Households love her as a result of she builds connections and cares about them. Colleagues love her as a result of she willingly gives assist that transforms instruction. Alex is an inspiration to all of us,” Shirley says.
Regardless of the pandemic challenges that brought on some college students to be quarantined or study from house, on the finish of the college yr 100% of Kellemen’s college students have been deemed able to progress to first grade.
“I’m happy with how we took the problem by the horns and succeeded collectively. To me, it proves that success is greater than a check rating,” Kellemen says.
“Success is measured by how effectively college students really feel protected, beloved, revered, and accepted for who they’re and what they’ve to supply, regardless of what they’ve been by way of or are going by way of. Youngsters should really feel proud intrinsically and have their primary wants met earlier than they’re free to concentrate on their work and really blossom,” she says.
Kellemen credit scholar engagement and a optimistic classroom tradition as the 2 largest components contributing to her college students’ excessive stage of educational and emotional progress final yr.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Kellemen and her colleagues realized that they, together with their college students and households, wanted extra help for emotional and psychological well being, not simply lecturers.
“With out the correct consideration to psychological well being, it turns into fairly tough to study and deal with feelings, which impacts one’s skill to perform and get by way of his or her day efficiently,” she says.
Kellemen used evidence-based social-emotional studying packages and optimistic conduct interventions to shift her focus and make psychological well being a precedence for her college students and herself.
“We spend time every day discussing how to deal with tough conditions and find out how to specific ourselves utilizing our phrases. Constructing this robust basis for psychological well being most positively will assist my college students be extra profitable not solely this college yr however in years to come back,” she says.
Kellemen is captivated with setting a optimistic tone to create a progress mindset for her kindergarteners’ future training.
“They’re little sponges, simply absorbing new enter for the very first time, and I see them develop proper earlier than my eyes.”
With 15 college students in her classroom, Kellemen says, “Which means 30 eyeballs are watching all the pieces I do and 30 ears are listening to all the pieces I say. I’ve to be vigilant and make it possible for day by day I’m modeling the conduct I need them to show.”
She wish to remind the group that her college students are absorbing phrases and actions throughout them, not simply within the classroom.
“Social media permits folks to say what they suppose with few penalties or repercussions. All of us must be cautious what we are saying and the way we act as a result of these little sponges soak it in, and they’re our future,” Kellemen says.
Educating kindergarteners find out how to talk with one another to allow them to use phrases for good and specific their emotions appropriately is a significant emphasis in Kellemen’s classroom.
“The impression of phrases is so highly effective. Whether or not they’re 5 or 25, studying to speak to one another is a particularly essential ability, particularly in a world the place expertise is prevalent and contributes to impersonal interactions,” she says.
Kellemen’s class has a particular mantra that they are saying as a gaggle, and generally to one another, to assist them keep in mind to maintain making an attempt after they encounter challenges.
With Kellemen saying every phrase and college students repeating after her, the mantra goes like this:
I can do laborious issues.
I imagine in myself.
My instructor believes in me.”
Someday, after repeating the final phrase, the scholars, on their very own, added: “And I imagine in my instructor.”
“That meant a lot to me,” Kellemen says.
“That is my calling in life, and I’ve a giant job to do.”
In regards to the Training Basis of Sarasota County
The Training Basis of Sarasota County sponsors the Ignite Training: Trainer of the 12 months annual recognition along with Sarasota County Faculties. The Training Basis is an impartial, philanthropic group whose mission is to reinforce the potential of all college students, promote excellence in educating, and encourage innovation in training, guided by strategic philanthropy and the assumption that training modifications lives. Discover extra at EdFoundationSRQ.org.