Week 2 reflection: Positive tomorrows a blog by shelly fryer
As I started exploring Shelly's website she sounds like a very busy woman. She has taught for over thirty years in a variety of different classroom settings. She teaches currently at the only homeless children's school in Oklahoma. Shelly also is an author, speaker, and advocate for children. I picked this blog to read because I have never heard of a school for homeless children and I wanted to learn more about what she does with the children and dealing with being homeless.
Preparing to teach challenging students
Shelly talks a lot about how the teachers that teach at Positive Tomorrows have to be 'trauma informed' which means they need to be aware and sensitive of the ways students' can have traumatic experiences outside the classroom. Shelly spends the first two weeks of just observing her classroom to see what her students' needs are and the way they process different situations. By doing this she is able to create a very open and loving classroom for her students to come to everyday.
She talks about how the children in her classroom are used to moving a lot, usually up to three times in a year. Just in the first couple of weeks of school she has already lost three children because of a move. By observing her classroom she is able to know what would be best for her students and ways in which to teach to them better.
Shelly has a variety of classroom assignments she does with her students. One of the projects that had stuck out to me was how one of her student's was very interested in science and wanted to do a specific experiment and with that so she made 'Maker Studio'. This classroom started out with nothing and she made it into something. Now the students are able to do experiments, create videos, and move around in an environment of learning not just in a boring classroom. The photo above was the first day she opened the 'Maker Studio' to her students.
Shelly has many links in her website to her classroom website, radio show, blogs, and videos. Within her blogs she has little pointers on ways to incorporate getting to know your students with lessons. She puts a big emphasis on her student/teacher relationships.