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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A A A - Awesome Albertville Alabama!

If you are ever in Northeast Alabama you need to make a stop at Big Spring Lake Kindergarten Center. It made my heart sing to know that there are still schools that believe that children come first! Their motto working, playing, learning…together is evident from the custodian’s closet to the halls and the library.


Tracy Penney is the principal and when I said, “Your school looks like Disney Land,” she replied, “That’s just what we want it to look like. We want a happy place where children can come and learn.” Boyd English, the Superintendent of Albertville City Schools, welcomed everyone by saying, “I want you to be happy this year. I want you to have FUN teaching.” How many of you have heard your administrators say that recently? There might be 28 kindergarten teachers, but they are a FAMILY and they work together to create a Wonderland for their kindergarteners. Can I get a job there????

I just couldn’t take it all in! One of my favorite ideas was “Dance Party Friday.” Every class has a disco light that they put out in the hall Friday morning to start the day. They all go out in the hall, dance, and give a “shout out” to students who had a special accomplishment that week.

If there were an HGTV show for beautiful schools they would be featured. Each room was a treat and showcased the teachers’ individuality and creativity.

One boy’s bathroom had a super hero theme with a spider web. The girls’ bathrooms were decorated with a princess theme, barn theme, and underwater theme.

I know for those little five year olds in Albertville, AL, it will be THE BEST DAY EVER when school begins!

P.S. Quinton Williams, Pastor of Lifepoint Church in Albertville, shared some powerful teaching tools that touched my heart and I think they will touch your heart as well!

Q’s Top Ten Tools for Teaching

1. Your Smile. It may be the only one a child sees. And your smile has the ability to set the tone for the whole day.

2. A Quiet Down Control Mechanism. You need one. Finger over your mouth. Lights flickering. Or as my teacher once did a certain song played on your piano. A quiet switch is not built in on the kids.

3. A Signature Dance. Mine is the sprinkler. My daughters love it. Find yours and use it often.

4. Laughter. It may be something your students don’t hear often, but they’ll never get enough of it.

5. Clear Expectations. Raise the bar don’t lower it. Your kids will surprise you. They may just rise to the occasion.

6. Love. Even when it’s hard. Students will assess their value on the amount of love they receive. They may not find value anywhere else like they can in your classroom.

7. Running Late Hairstyle. You will need it. It’s going to happen.

8. Dreams. Dreams have to be nourished and fed. If not they die. Carry your dreams in the classroom and let them become contagious.

9. Pee Pee Dance Knowledge. If you don’t know what this dance looks like, youtube it. It could save you some significant clean up time.

10. Grace. Kids will mess up. Show grace. You will mess up. Show yourself grace. Take a nice bath, read a good book, or if you’re like my wife watch Grey’s Anatomy and breathe. We all mess up. But the winners are just the losers who fell down and got back up.