Welcome to our weekly Member Spotlight! Each week I will be interviewing one of our fabulous contributing members. We have a variety of contributors that teach in many different states and grade levels. Today you will be meeting Amy Mezni, who shares her teaching ideas on Teaching Ideas 4U.
1. How many years have you been teaching?
It is hard to believe, but this coming year will be my 20th year. I started my first year of teaching in 1995!2. What do you currently teach?
After leaving elementary, going to middle school, then teaching online middle & high school, I am back in 5th grade and loving it!
3. Describe your teaching style.
Work hard, play hard. (Ok, I try to live up to this.) I prefer to teach using hands on materials and in thematic units. We work hard - I push my kids to do more than they think they can - but then once we work hard, we also play hard, scheduling a whole day of corn activities for Thanksgiving or a whole day of special valentine activities on Valentine's Day. (We are still learning, but it doesn't seem like learning....)
4. What is one activity in your classroom you tried that you fell in love with?
Civics Interactive NotebookI really had to think about this, because my class really enjoyed the book report projects and the novel units we did. However, the activity that really surprised me was my Civics Interactive Notebook. I actually created this for my daughter and her 7th grade class, but as 5th grade civics loops up to 7th grade civics, I was able to use parts of it with my class. The kids loved it. They no longer complained about taking notes, and every day they would ask what we would do tomorrow! The 7th grade notebook is finished, but making another one geared specifically for 5th grade is on July's to-do list!
5. What is one piece of advice you can offer to a new teacher?
Great advice from Amy Mezni! Follow the links below to see some more of her wonderful ideas!Be yourself. As a new teacher, you often find yourself asking veteran teachers for advice, but sometimes you will get advice that just isn't "you." Some of my biggest regrets as a teacher are times I followed advice from other people that just didn't feel right to me. Learning isn't a one-size fits all activity, and neither is teaching.