The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Being a Part of the Community

Community is a big deal in education these days. We talk constantly about our classroom community, our school community, our municipal community, our state community, or national community, and our global community. As a classroom teacher, I focus mostly on the classroom community. I want my students to feel like we are all part of something more than ourselves. I have invited my students to musical performances and concerts, I attend our building family nights and encourage them to attend, and I try to communicate with parents regularly.

Earlier in the year, I had a student tell me about a piano recital he had, and I expressed disappointment that I hadn’t been invited to attend. Another student told me about a track meet. Yet another student participated in a math competition. I have repeatedly expressed a desire to attend and share with these special events.

Finally, some students took me up on it. Actually, it was the father of a student, who is their soccer coach. It turns out that about a third of my class participates in the Urbana Park District soccer program. He told me about their game this morning, and sent me a list of the rest of the games they have. I promised to attend, and looked forward to being a part of the classroom community that exists outside the classroom.

It was a lot of fun to be there and to cheer on my students. They were excited to see me. A classic moment happened in middle of the third quarter when one of the boys looked over and called out, “Hello, Mr. Valencic!” During the break at the half, I walked over to the team and said hello to all of them. One of the girls, upon realising I was wearing casual clothing, said, “Mr. Valencic! You look like some kind of hip college student!” I was wearing jeans, a cotton button-down shirt with a t-shirt underneath, my vintage brown leather jacket, and a fedora. It was also fun to chat with parents on the side of the field while watching the game.

I really hope to be able to participate in more of these community events. I will try to make it to the other soccer matches and I hope students will invite me to their other extracurricular activities, such as recitals, plays, and concerts.

Oh, and my kids’ soccer team won this morning.


One response

  1. Alex Jones

    “Community” approach sounds good. You look like a good teacher.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

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