Patty Campbell has been teaching for 27 years and she knows how to create a classroom that works for her and her students. Her loving greeting gets the day started right, and her clear expectations help the classroom function well.
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What do you wish that you had known before you started teaching?
I wish I would have known that this job is as exhausting as it is. It is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting.
I love what I do.
I wish I had known that I make a difference even when I don’t see it.
I wish I would have known that I was going to spend as much money on my classroom as I have.
I wish I would have known that I have a great support system with my family.
I don’t want to be negative, but you can’t save them all. There is going to be that 1% of kids who are not going to make it regardless of what you do.
What are some things you are doing well as a teacher?
I meet them at the door every single morning. I greet them by name and I give them a hug. I wish more teachers would do that.
It’s a way to encourage them and create a caring classroom environment.
I watched a very experienced kindergarten teacher do that with her kindergarteners and then I saw the kindergarteners take that feeling and turn it toward each other.
They would encourage each other and help each other in the classroom. I thought that was so powerful.
I decided to take two minutes out of each day to create that climate in my classroom. If everyone did that it would be incredible.
What are some ways you make a difference in your classroom?
I have a class pet every year. I include the kids with the class pet. It ties them to something other than themselves.
I can’t stand chaos, so there is a place for everything and everybody in the classroom.
Even when I’m not there, they can handle business as usual. I like to keep things where they belong.
My classroom is rarely quiet. I think kids need to talk to each other.
I encourage my kids to move to where they can be comfortable. But when things get too loud or too messy, we stop and take care of things.
What are your favorite books?
Where the Wild Things are- I love Max. He has such an amazing imagination. He uses it even when he’s in trouble.
Magic Tree House Series- the main characters are throughout the entire series. She does an amazing job of tying in history to the characters.
Good Night, Moon- is a favorite as a parent
Oh, the Places You’ll Go- you are going to go places that might not be well, but you have the ability to choose.
Afternoon of the Elves- it’s about a young lady whose backyard neighbor is completely opposite of her. She has to handle the bills and heat the house and take care of adult responsibilities it’s kind of an eye opener to see what other kids experience.