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Friday, July 15, 2011

A Week To Remember: I Teach K

I am back from the conference in Vegas and ready to share some of the highlights (and there were millions) of this fantastic week. First off, can you image being with 1200 kindergarten teachers? These women (a few men) come from all walks of life and from all over the country. Most of them came on their own dollar and were thrilled to be at this conference. Their generosity and kindness overwhelmed me in general since it was crowded and noisy. I made so many friends and although I am glad to be home I will never forget this week. I know how lucky I was to have this opportunity and I filled  an entire notebook with ideas.

Day #1: The keynote speaker at this conference was Dr. Jean Feldman and she was everything I had hoped for.
She was inspirational, silly, funny, and very aware of what teaching kindergarten in 2011 was like. She reminded us of the huge responsibility we had as educators of young children and begged us not to let anyone take the fun out of our classrooms. Honestly, she had us up and dancing every fifteen minutes and as my eyes scanned the room I got a lump in my throat. Everyone participated fully. We all turned and made a new friend and loved being a part of something so much bigger than our district problems, our crowded classrooms, or the pressure of meeting standards with 5 year olds. It made me stop and appreciate how lucky I was to be a kindergarten teacher surrounded by loving educators. Talk about a moment in time...

My friend and I walked over to just hug Dr. Jean and this kind lady (she is a little, bitty lady) suggested we take a picture and I almost died! She never rushed us through but gave us all the time in the world and then told me how much she loved my sandals! If you never meet another presenter in your lifetime- she is your person. She is a true kindergarten teacher who loved her job and cares deeply about the children in our care. Thanks Dr. Jean for making me laugh so hard, hug another teacher , and "Tooty Ta" till I dropped! If you do not know her website please leave mine and check it out: and her blog is
You can really appreciate her when you watch her You Tube Videos! I am putting her on my blogroll today as a favorite.

Dr. Jean reminded us of these Cheer Cards that celebrate children and good thinking. She suggested that you run them off, laminate them, and put them on a ring to remind yourself to change them up often. Kids love these but I need to mix it up more often! I am a big fan of "Kiss your brain" but the best is when a student says it to another child in the room! If you want these cards click here and go to her site.


Pingles said...

Wow, sounds like you had a fantastic time! I am so excited just reading your post. I love your blog and all your ideas.

I shall spend my summer reading and orgainzing all the ideas I get from your site and get them ready to implement into my classroom at Greenville.

I hope you take some time to relax this summer, before you know it we will be back at work,
Pat I.

Miss Dongarra said...

I also attended "I Teach K" and was at the blog session that you were at. I love your blog and I have started to create my own. I have so many questions though. How do you get all the fun graphics that you have? Any tips would be much appreciated! Thanks. :)

Tessa said...

I met Dr. Jean several years ago at a conference. I felt awestruck! I'm so glad you had a great time!
Spotlight on Kindergarten

Lynn said...

WOW!! Sounds like a wonderful week!! I am jealous!!! I met Dr. Jean twice when came to N.C. for workshops. She is AMAZING!!!!
I have not gotten to attend an I teach K yet but hopefully soon.
Glad you had such a great week!! Can't wait to see all your new ideas!!

Heidi said...

I have just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! I can't wait to read more. I also shared your button on my blog:)! I am just getting started, and really hope that I will be able to inspire as much as you have. Looking forward to learning more from you:)!

beachliesl said...

I totally understand your comments about Dr. Jean--she is phenomenal! When I worked for our district's administration, I was able to bring her 3 times for our kindergarten teachers. She and I were able to spend a lot of time talking, and I was in heaven! At one point, she sent me a book on friendship as a thank you, and I was OVER THE MOON!! I was practically dancing around the office---the other people I worked with did NOT get it. It WAS like getting something from the president, only better! :)

It made my day to see her at the conference, and to have her hug me as a friend! :)

Liesl in VA

Jennifer @ Simply Kinder said...

Oh... I was there too! I actually presented on Thursday! I was so nervous! "Saving Time with Responsible Management." That was me! I did not see this until today, otherwise I would have loved to have met a fellow blogger! So my favorites were Leach and Brassell! Dr. Jean was great and Kim Jordano too! What was your favorite class?

Empowering Kinders and Other Kids Too

Fran Kramer said...

The best by far, hands down for me was Kim Adsit. I cannot believe how smart, funny, and articulate she is.
She is one of the finest presenters I have ever seen. I dragged my friend and she fell in love with her too.
I wish I had seen you. I ended up in most of her sessions. I am sure you did a fantastic job. Next time...
so sad I missed you.

The Schroeder Page said...

I am sooo jealous that you met and got your picture with Dr. Jean! She is fantastic! I loved her songs when I taught K and even squeak in a few in my 2nd grade class.
The Schroeder Page

Cindy said...

I've had the opportunity to see Dr. Jean twice! She's awesome! Loved her workshops! :o)


Plants seeds of knowledge...for our future! said...

I was there too! I love how she rejuvenated us and made us feel worthwhile again! I have gotten so tired of the media and its attitude toward teachers :( It was nice to be cheered and acknowledged for what we do!

Mandy's Memories said...

I would LOVE to meet her! I am now following her blog and downloaded the cards! Thanks so much :)

Fran Kramer said...

Do not feel jealous. Your time will come and until then I will share all that I can. She is the best out there and I love her...

Jennifer @ Simply Kinder said...

I did not make it to see Kim... Funny story. A few years ago my friends went and all wound up in this class... i am not going to say which one... and I literally was like.. well I am not going to wind up in classes like that... and I totally wound up in the same class they did. I almost died! And it was so boring!!! So this lady on the escalator overheard and said follow her... so we did. Wound up in with Leach! AMAZING... so we did the same that it sounds like with you... stayed with her the rest of the day. =) Then the next day we did Danny Brassell! AMAZING! I actually revamped my presentation for next year to be more there style of presenting (in case I apply again.) I was a little bummed that Kim Jordano was on my day... I would have wound up in her class and stayed there too if I did not have my own stuff going on. =) Glad you had a good time!