Sunday, January 15, 2012

Introducing Mrs. Norton!

Hi all! I am a first grade teacher in Richmond, Virginia. I have been teaching for 8 years now, after becoming a career switcher from the corporate retail world. I feel lucky every day that I am so in love with my job. It is also my hobby, and there is no better scenerio! Last year, my husband and I brought home the loves of our lives, our twin boys Tyson and Gabriel from Ethiopia. I was worried that becoming a mom would dampen my enthusiasm for teaching, especially being with such young children all day, but I have found the opposite to be true. I have recently discovered teaching blogs, and after becoming a certifiable "addict", have decided to try one out myself!

My perspective is a bit unique in some ways. I teach an ESOL class where I collab for about 30 minutes per day with an ESL teacher. This year I have two brand new speakers, and 12 Spanish speakers overall, out of a class of 19. Transiance is always an issue at our school. Many of our students have parents that are incarcertated, seperated, illegal aliens, or are dealing with things at home that I hope my own children never have to dream of. We have severe behavior issues, but amazing kids, and I love my school and my students wholeheartedly. I am certain that I am a Title One Teacher for life.

I have been trained in an approach called Responsive Classroom, and it is the guiding principal in my classroom, and how I teach. I believe in it fully. One of my goals this year is to become a certified site coordinator for Responsive Classroom so that I can lead trainings and hopefully convince some of my peers that it is an incredible approach which minimizes discipline problems through building relationships with students, giving students academic choice, guided discovery and the four key elements of morning meeting (along with a few other factors...). I would finally call myself a master teacher at classroom and discipline management, and am working hard to add that title to all subject areas as well. Enjoy my blog as I am sure it will be a work in progress. Thanks for stopping by! :)