Monday, June 3, 2013

Guest Blog

Today is my first official guest blog post!   It comes from a fellow teacher in the district who volunteered a few weeks ago when I posted my blog: Help Wanted.  Unfortunately for me, I didn't get quite the response I had hoped for, but fortunately for me, a this teacher stepped up.  

 I had the pleasure of working in the same school as the guest blogger a few years ago when I was teaching ESL at her school.  My tiny office was located between two classrooms and hers was one of them.  I was always so amazed when I would hear all the excited kids in her classroom.  It was a vibrant room full of learning and thinking.   I was always impressed with her dedication as a teacher.  She's also a real "techie" and I have learned a lot from her over the years.  I can honestly say that I never see her without a bright smile and a positive attitude, so it's only fitting that she's my guest blogger.   So, without further ado, may I present today's guest blogger -----

First, I have to say that I’ve loved reading this blog all year long!  I don’t know if I could have kept up on writing the way Dianne has – and the laughs?!  It’s been the perfect place to pop in when I need a giggle!

It’s so hard to think of one thing to focus on for this guest post.  I mean, teaching is all over the place – just today I was at a soccer game watching a bunch of my girls play.  They, of course, were more interested in my dog than the game once I arrived.  Thankfully, the offer to stay till games end as long as they stayed focused worked like a charm!  (And their coach said that he had been using me coming to the game as encouragement for them to play their best!)  After the fun of the soccer game, I came home to the rather un-fun task of report card writing.  The best thing I like about this last report card is the POSITIVE comments I get to leave after spending a year watching these kids grow!

Oh, yeah, I forgot to introduce myself.  I teach fourth grade at Conant Elementary, another school in the district.  I’ve been there for my whole teaching career, though I bounce between third and fourth grade as needed.  I like both grades – the age of third graders is like no other, and well, fourth graders?  They’re quite entertaining, to say the least!  I used to think third grade was my favorite to teach, but after this year?  I’m not sure… might be a tie.

Since it’s going to be impossible to sum up an entire school year in a few paragraphs, I’m gonna try to use the POSITIVITY thread to weave everything together.  Cause it’s a pretty easy thing to think about positivity in my classroom.  For one, I’m POSITIVE I love my job.  There are so many positive aspects
to teaching, which I like to think they outweigh the less-than-positive moments.  I have a mantra when it comes to teaching that falls very nicely into the positive position.  In fact, this positive mantra is positioned above the doorway in my classroom.  It says “Attitude is everything.”  And yes, even the sign has attitude.  It refuses to hang straight.  It’s got a bit of a personality.
My class this year is quite an enthusiastic group of kids.  Thinkers, they’re called.  Ms. Diem’s Thinkers.  And boy do they think.  They make me think, too, with all the questions they have!  I don’t have the answers to many of their questions, but that’s ok.  I’m pretty positive they’ll be able find the answers in their own time, and will learn more because of that self-motivated process of inquiry.

Fourth graders have such a unique way of seeing things.  They’re on the cusp of that “I’m too cool for that!” mentality, but still have the “my teacher is the coolest!” mindset.  They still love stickers.  And stuffed animals.  They take things very literal, which in turn, leads to some very laughable conversations!  It’s really hard to keep a straight face sometimes.
The most positive thing from the school year?  It has to be watching these Thinkers grow.  They came in as enthusiastic, somewhat boisterous third graders, lapping up all support and guidance they could get.  They sit before me now, more confident, more independent, more knowledgeable, more able to satisfy their curiosities with their newfound ability to research and interact with their world in a positive, meaningful way.  I couldn’t be prouder!

Funny tidbits from 4th graders…
They are endlessly entertained by the fact that when you type an “r” and an “n” next to each other, it looks like an “m” (this always brings out a fit of giggles!)
4th graders like to invent new words, like the fact that the entire class says “present-tat-ing” instead of “presenting”
No matter what book you’re reading aloud, when you get to a cliff hanger, they simultaneously yell “noooooooo!” when you start to close the book. (They simultaneously cheer when you continue reading, too.)
Extra recess is still the best bribe.  Period.
iPads make everything more fun.  Even taking tests.  And writing.

And my favorite?
They’re never too old for a handshake, high-five, or even a hug as we say farewell on Fridays.

By the way, I’m pretty positive you’ll enjoy meeting my class, too.  Check out their blog at  You can follow them on twitter too @MsDiemsThinkers

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for you, guest blogger! You are both braver than I...
    Marnie, you are definitely one of the most positive, enthusiastic teachers I know. Your students are lucky to have you! I love the attitude sign with an attitude!
    I haven't been using stickers since moving from first to third grade. I'll need to start doing that again... and I totally agree about the iPads!