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All I Really Need to Know I Learned From a Kindergartner
Becca and Row-ee
Becca and Row-ee
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From a Kindergartner

The best teacher I have ever had is six years old. Her lessons are masterful and seamlessly delivered in the most natural ways. Becca, a kindergartner who is fully included in her neighborhood school, has taught me more in the last six months about teaching than I gleaned from any of my teacher preparation courses. 1. Have high expectations: Admittedly I began the year with the goal that I would teach Becca to read her family members' names by the end of kindergarten. Within weeks of starting school in September, Becca had learned not only her family members' names but those of friends and teachers too! 2. Have fun: Learning must be fun. What's the sense of doing it if you can't have fun? 3. Be flexible: Sometimes you're just not going to teach what you planned the way you planned it. Becca often has better ideas for how to proceed with the materials I present to her. 4. Celebrate the "little" things: After years of referring to herself as me, Becca now says her name! She is learning to zip her coat. Becca can identify colors. She can tell her teacher that she is buying lunch. 5. Smile: Becca enters school with the biggest, brightest smile! Her smiles are contagious and leave her impression on everyone she comes in contact with throughout the school day. 6. Be dramatic (and not just in the dramatic play area!): Teach like you are giving the performance of a lifetime. Enthusiasm and intensified actions are too enticing to ignore. 7. Communicate: Daily communication between teachers, specialists, paraprofessionals, and parents keeps everyone abreast of Becca's daily happenings and allows us to maintain consistent language and goals between school and home which enriches Becca's learning. 8. Try new things: You might say I am technologically challenged. But when I was presented with the opportunity to have an iPad for Becca I jumped at it. Little did I know Becca would excel at maneuvering around the iPad. She expertly uses it to look at pictures, practice skills through games, and to communicate with Proloquo2Go. 9. Make it personal: Becca adores her family, friends, and teachers. Relating new learning to her favorite people gives the learning purpose and meaning. Becca has learned to identify many of the letters of the alphabet because they were connected with a loved one's name. 10. Trust inclusion: Becca is the best teacher I have ever had, but her classmates are the best teachers she has had. Innumerable and immeasurable "teachings" occur throughout each and every day. Becca's peers are her models, her teachers, her students. They model language and teach her how to be an active participant in her class community, while Becca teaches them the most valuable lessons. Have fun... Be flexible... Smile... Try new things" Make it personal" Lessons that will last a lifetime. Thank you, Becca. Jennifer "Row-ee" Rowland

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Laura, United States, CT
4/7/2011 8:15:00 PM
Being positive and flexible are such wonderful traits that we should all aim to excel at. Thank you Jennifer and Becca for making it seem easy! And, I think the best teachers are those that are passionate about learning themselves? What a good example you

Linda, United States, MA
3/31/2011 6:48:23 PM
What a great story about a supper student and a fabulous teacher - you go girls!

Lois Cutter, United States , MA
3/28/2011 12:54:18 PM
"Becca is the most adorable little girl ever! Her smiles and giggles are contagious. I wish everyone could give a hug like hers!!! We are all blessed. ~Lo"

Stephan J. Frame, United States, NJ
3/24/2011 2:19:06 PM
God Bless you

Liz Hamlet, United States, MA
3/23/2011 8:30:48 PM
Very moving and inspiring! Go Jen! Go Becca!!

LouAnn Johnson, United States, CT
3/23/2011 5:16:38 PM
Children are our greatest gift. We are so fortunate to have people like Jen and Becca in this world. Great job to both of you. We are truly blessed and very proud.

Sheila McCallum, United States, NJ
3/22/2011 9:38:46 PM
Great story! I hope Becca continues to enjoy school and enrich other lives with her smile!

Mollie Ruffolo, United States, PA
3/22/2011 8:56:44 PM
Aww what a great story! This is a good reminder that everyone no matter what age are teachers to us in life.

Beth Smith-Petersen, United States, MA
3/22/2011 5:12:04 PM
Go Becca!!! Becca makes our classroom a better place and her classmates and teachers love her so much! She continues to teach us something every day and I cannot imagine kindergarten without her! Thank you for everything, Becca. XOXOX Love, (S)P

Patti DiMarco, United States NJ,
3/22/2011 4:51:20 PM
What a wonderful storey about a beautiful child and a teacher who loves her. Both are so blessed to have found each other so early in their careers. Hopefully Becca will have more teachers like Mrs Rowland in her future and other children will benefit fr

Tammy, United States, CT
3/22/2011 10:54:36 AM
"Great Story. Best Wishes

Darren Courtney, United States, OH
3/22/2011 8:20:09 AM
Great story.

bryce georgens, United States, CT
3/21/2011 5:39:24 PM

Janet Belmont, United States, DE
3/21/2011 2:27:58 PM
Great story. Fabulous writer.

Carol Yelle, United States, MA
3/21/2011 2:26:12 PM
Becca gets on the bus every morning with a great big smile! She rides to school with her buddy Mr. Morris and all her friends. When she returns from school on the bus guess what she has? A great BIG smile! She loves school! She loves her teachers!

Jason Johnson, United States, CT
3/21/2011 7:52:14 AM
Great Story Jen!!!!

krista georgens, United States, CT
3/21/2011 7:49:20 AM
Wonderful heartfelt story!

wende currey, United States, DE
3/20/2011 7:09:20 PM
Very Positive, and made me cry !!!!! Restroys my faith !!!!

David Ciamaricone, United States, DE
3/20/2011 6:26:38 PM
Great Story

Karen, United States, PA
3/20/2011 6:18:45 PM
Teachers come in all ages and sizes. How lucky you are to have found each other.

Bridget kelly, United States, PA
3/20/2011 5:21:00 PM
Wonderful story! Love to you Becca!

Rick Kelly, United States, PA
3/20/2011 4:47:11 PM
"Clearly from this story I am remineded just how observant all the people are in our lives and how we all can and should learn from everybody we come in contact with. Jennifer is lucky to have time with Becca, and Becca with Jennifer Good luck and go"

EDWARD MIS, United States, RI
3/19/2011 10:19:00 PM
fantastic article - congrats on this real life experience

Matt, United States, CT
3/19/2011 8:52:11 PM
A great story about a wonderful girl

Kenny Morris, United States , MA
3/19/2011 4:16:57 PM
Very nice Jen! It always brightens my day seeing her smiling face on the bus each morning :) - Morris!

Joann Mazzocchi, United States, NY
3/19/2011 3:27:10 PM
Very touching story.

Sheila Morris, United States, MA
3/19/2011 12:50:59 PM
Beautiful story about a little girl we all love and adore and a wonderful teacher!! xo

Rebecca, United States, MA
3/19/2011 10:13:54 AM
Important reminders of how to teach and how to live!

Elane Bojanic, United States, MA
3/19/2011 9:05:50 AM
Inclusion is so important and worthwhile, with so many great lessons to be learned and shared!

James Fusco, United States, SC
3/19/2011 8:39:02 AM
This is our daughter-in law Jennifer and we are sooo very proud of her and Becca. Wonderful story of learning and love!

Jody Smaglis, United States, CT
3/19/2011 8:37:07 AM
Simply beautiful!

Christine Fusco, United States, SC
3/19/2011 8:24:01 AM
What a GREAT story!!

Andrea , United States, MA
3/18/2011 11:43:59 PM
A wonderful story that teaches us all how to live each day!

Diane Morrison, United States, NY
3/18/2011 10:18:01 PM
Yeah Becca, Love, Aunt Diane

Pete , United States, MA
3/18/2011 9:53:58 PM
"What a smart cutie !! She has the best teachers and classmates, Becca has really blossomed with this integrated kindergarten experience. thank you "

Vanessa, United States, MA
3/18/2011 9:47:07 PM
What a great message!

christine landry, United States, NH
3/18/2011 8:36:35 PM
Way to go Rebecca

A Ventimiglia, United States, CA
3/18/2011 7:45:42 PM
Becca is lucky to have you, too, Mrs Rowland!!

Al Paine, United States, CT
3/18/2011 7:41:27 PM
Nice story I hope you win.

Erin Williams, United States, SC
3/18/2011 7:23:08 PM

terri yelle, United States, MA
3/18/2011 6:29:10 PM
Becca and Row-ee sure are a team and oh, what a wonderful teaching experience for both of them. It takes a village to raise a child and what a great village Becca and Row-ee are in, supportive school system, peers and joy every day of living the day to the fullest

Michelle Coleman, United States, MA
3/18/2011 6:07:29 PM
Great job Becca and Ms. Rowland! I totally agree with six, gaining attention and keeping it are the key to forward progress. Glad you both are enjoying the year together! :-)

christine landry, United States, NH
3/18/2011 4:31:52 PM
Way to go

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