I have been teaching for 11 years. I enjoy watching my students’ discoveries of their world unfold, in a way that connects real life to learning concepts.
My students have difficulty with abstract concepts, so each year, I choose one thing to connect all subjects and community. Students in a self-contained 6th through 8th grade classroom used the topic of butterflies to learn about themselves, academic subjects and benefits to their communities. Students made the final connection when they planted flowers for the butterflies to feed and reproduce on. This was planted in the community's sustainable garden. Students were able to utilize previously learned concepts and their self-esteem was evident when sharing what they learned with their peers.
My students learn in a multi-sensory way, and that is how I teach them. They also become creative thinkers, 21st century learners and future viable members of our communities. I love what I do, and I love where I teach!
(Ayesha Ibrahim, a NYSUT member, teaches in the New Paltz Central School District.)