Keep in Mind the Whole Child

By April 30, 2012 Guest Posts

A blog written by Denise Tallakson, a 1st and 2nd multi-age classroom teacher at Malcolm Price Lab School.  Denise was a recipient of the Gold Star Award in 2010.

Keep in Mind the Whole Child!   ASCD states that every child has the right to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.  What does that look like in the classroom?

HEALTHY: Every child is encouraged to exercise both their body and their minds and have a nutritious option for them at lunchtime. Daily P.E. is provided and school nurses are available to promote wellness.

SAFE: Students are safe from bullying and there is a caring community at their school. Guidance counselors are there to teach, guide and support all students. Students of all ages are encouraged to look for win-win situations to solve conflict.

ENGAGE: Classroom activities are stimulating and interest students so they want to participate. Project work is supported and students are engaged in their learning. Students are given choices and are encouraged to take charge of their learning.

SUPPORTED: There are support systems in place to help every child succeed at their top potential.  Each child is viewed as an individual and the support systems may look different from child to child.

CHALLENGED: Students are working at the developmental level that is appropriate for them. There are opportunities for growth and students are encouraged to challenge themselves through goal setting.  Accomplishments are celebrated!

I have been so fortunate to teach at a school that believes and puts into practice this philosophy and models it for preservice teachers to experience.  For 26 years I have been blessed to work with colleagues who believe that every child has potential and deserves an educational experience that motivates and inspires them to be a lifelong learner.  At MPLS I have been encouraged to be the best teacher I can be and have had the freedom to create in the classroom.  I am so very thankful for each and every day I have taught in this school.