Saturday, September 21, 2019

Who is teaching our children? – Part 2

Alexa Barrett, Daniella Rodrigues and Aily Nava read along with earphones. Photo by Val Simon

Alexa Barrett, Daniella Rodrigues and Aily Nava read along with earphones. Photo by Val Simon

In this edition of Who Is Teaching our Children? we learned a little about technology in the classroom. Use of technology at the elementary levels is growing by leaps and bounds. This makes complete sense when we look at how we’ve added the use of computers, cell phones, video games and more to our everyday lives. Some of us may feel handicapped using these devices while young children pick up the operation with ease. Tommie Barfield Elementary incorporates an interactive instructional resource called Mimeo instruction to their classrooms. According to the kindergarten teachers, they regularly use this resource two or three times each day in their classroom. “The children love it,” said Mrs. Condee. “We developed our own system to be sure each child has an equal opportunity to use the technology.”

The Mimeo projects a computer screen onto a white board transforming it into a touchpad. Students can ‘drop and drag’ icons into the appropriate location on the board. At the kindergarten level there are lessons in shapes, numbers, sight words and animal classifications. Teachers, like Michelle Robau, develop their own lessons with this program. Michelle is part of the Pearson Study Group which is researching the use and effectiveness of the Mimeo technology in the classroom. Teachers spend a number of hours learning their way around the functions and uses of the program. Principal Dr. Jory Westberry indicates, “Once they use it in the classroom and see it is an effective educational tool, they’re ecstatic with the results”.

The 2010/2011 kindergarten team:

Donna  Condee demonstrates  technology in the classroom to Andrea Noll, Michelle Robau, Dody Bennett and Haven Hardin. Photo by Val Simon

Donna Condee demonstrates technology in the classroom to Andrea Noll, Michelle Robau, Dody Bennett and Haven Hardin. Photo by Val Simon

Donna Condee-has taught kindergarten, first and second grades for 26 years. She graduated from Illinois College with a B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education and with a Master’s in Reading from Nova Southeastern University. “I was planning on being a child psychologist, but thought I’d teach for a couple of years first. I’ve been teaching ever since. I love the little ones.” She is married Don Condee and has three grown children. Both her daughter and daughter-in-law are teachers. Her classroom motto: Expect the Best! Children live up or down to your expectations of them.

Andrea Noll-is in her 11th year teaching. She has taught fifth, fourth, second and kindergarten. She has a Master’s in Educational Leadership also from Nova Southeastern University. Andrea has been married for 37 years to Jim Noll and has two daughters and one grandchild. Andrea earned her License for Practical Nursing prior to going into teaching. Her motto is ‘Dive into Kindergarten’ which reflects on one of her favorite hobbies, scuba diving. Andrea says, “The foundation children receive in elementary school needs to be strong so they become lifelong learners.”

Michelle Robau-earned her BS in education from Bowling Green State University and went on to earn her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from the University of Miami. She has taught pre-k, kindergarten, first and second grades for a total of 18 years. She is married to Emilio and has two sons, one at Marco Island Charter Middle School and the other at Lely High School. Michelle

Setting the educational foundation is the Kidnergarten Team Donna Condee, Dody Bennett, Andrea Noll, Michelle Robau and Haven Hardin. Photo by Val Simon

Setting the educational foundation is the Kidnergarten Team Donna Condee, Dody Bennett, Andrea Noll, Michelle Robau and Haven Hardin. Photo by Val Simon

says, “I hope to make a positive impact on my students that will last a long time.” Michelle used to love making crafts and painting but now her creative energy is used to make new lesson plans with the Mimeo.

Dody Bennett-graduated with a BA from the Mississippi State University and then earned a BS degree from the University of Mississippi. She has taught pre-k, kindergarten and first grades for a total of 18 years. She is married to Kyle Bennett and has two children, one a freshman at the University of Mississippi and the other at Marco Island Charter Middle School. Dody used to work in interior design which she still enjoys dabbling in on occasion. Dody believes, “All children deserve a chance to get the best possible education a teacher can provide. Students need to be active agents in their own learning.”

Haven Hardin- earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida International University. Haven has taught 3, 4 and 5 year olds with language delays/ integrated Head Start class. She’s taught first and second grade and also taught hospital homebound students for a total of 20+ years experience. Haven says she knows Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer ‘up close and personal’. She has four sons and one granddaughter. Haven say, “It is my responsibility to stay current with the best teaching practices. It is also my responsibility to be accountable to provide all my students with an educational foundation that begins with the background knowledge each child brings with them when they enter my classroom.”

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