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Be Human First

I’ll never forget my first elementary homeroom after getting my master’s degree, teaching fourth grade, worrying the walls of the classroom might not be inspiring enough. It was March, and I spent so much of the school year trying to keep up with my teaching, and the walls had seen little change, little attention.

So, my exhausted self spent one late evening creating the materials for my “new walls” and the second putting up the new materials. I really liked it. I was proud of this newly inspiring space.

I asked Dylan, about 5 minutes after he entered the room- after the makeover- “What do you think of the classroom? What do you notice?”

“Um- it’s a classroom, Ms. Icenogle.”

“What about the walls? Did you notice this new section where you get to choose something to celebrate- or this section where there’s a clever math area about the geometry we are covering- or…?”

“It’s a classroom, Ms. Icenogle. It doesn’t really look different- but it’s nice.”

Just another reminder that it’s you- the teacher, the welcomer, the source- it’s you they come to the classroom for. It’s you. You are the greatest asset.

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