All eyes seem to be on Marissa McGee’s kindergarten classroom. Marissa’s class “has been heralded as a room to watch by D.C.’s public schools,” and was visited by teachers last year for professional learning observations. Recently, the teacher from Walker-Jones Education Campus was interviewed by NPR® about her teaching philosophy.
For several years now, Wilson has partnered with District of Columbia’s public schools to provide coaching and support with Fundations® Tier 1 implementation. We are pleased to share Marissa’s story and insight!
During NPR’s visit, Marissa offered her classroom tips and reminders, which included:
- “Character is just as important as academics.” Marissa advises, “When we give each other compliments and are compassionate…their little faces just brighten up with smiles.”
- “Get your kids on board.” Allow your students to take the reins during instruction. If a student wants to demonstrate how to do an activity, let him/her act as the teacher for a moment.
- “Remember that they’re five.” Keeping their age in mind, Marissa tries to use peer interactions as “teachable moments.”
- “Be flexible.” Marissa notes that as a teacher you may need to change your pacing or the lesson plan if it’s not working.
- “Embrace the intellectual challenge.” As Marissa notes, “Some people are like, ‘Oh, you teach kindergarten, that’s cute.’ And yeah, it’s cute, but there are also challenges that come along with it.” Don’t allow others to diminish the intellectual trials your job may put forth, no matter what the grade.