Meet your 4th grade teacher...Mrs. Howard!
I promise to you....
1. I promise to show you respect.
You can’t just leave it there. Respect is such a big word. You have to tell the students that by showing respect, you won’t humiliate them in front of the class. You won’t use sarcasm in the class that can be perceived as demeaning. You will listen to them with your eyes. (You know what I mean.) You are going to have to use specific examples as you explain this promise.
2. I promise to spend a lot of time creating lesson plans that are informative and interesting.
Amazing teachers will take time on lesson planning. Teaching out of the textbook doesn’t take too much effort. I gave bookwork to my substitutes to hand out. Let students know that you will be spending time to create lessons that are going to benefit them. Believe it or not, they will appreciate your efforts – well most of them will.
3. I promise to be in a good mood every day.
I know what you’re saying, “Sam, there is no way I can keep this promise. Sometimes bad stuff happens on the way to work, at home, in the lunch room, etc.” We can’t bring our negative experiences into the classroom. That’s not fair to the kids. Amazing teachers are in a good mood every day – even if they have to fake it.
4. I promise to expect only the best from you.
Here’s where you talk about holding them accountable for turning in their homework and giving their full effort on assignments. You are promising to not letting them get away with less than their best.
5. I promise to forget yesterday’s poor choices.
Students are going to make mistakes. They’re going to get in trouble. You’ll have to give them consequences for their poor choices. Amazing teachers give each student a fresh start every day. What happened yesterday is forgotten.
6. I promise to keep learning how to better teach the class.
Amazing teachers don’t stop learning and looking for new ideas. This is a great promise to make to the students. You’re telling them that you care enough for them that you’re willing to look for new ways to teach them.
7. I promise to keep your parents updated on your progress in my class.
Your students might not like this promise, but it’s an important one. Amazing teachers communicate on a consistent basis with parents. You can send progress reports home every three weeks. You can email or call parents randomly. Students who are struggling need more parent contact than others, but this is definitely a promise that teachers need to keep. I know it’s time consuming, but amazing teachers make the time.
8. I promise to provide extra help before school, after school, or during lunch.
Again, it’s about making time for students.
9. I promise to not give up on you.
You would be amazed how important this is to some students. Let your students know that no matter what happens, no matter what mistake they may make, no matter who else turns their back on them – they can count on you to be there for them.
10. I promise to do everything I can to make this your best year ever.
Can you really say this? Yes! Notice that the focus is on the students. Many teachers start the school year asking themselves, “I wonder what kind of year I’m going to have this year.” I found that when you work toward making the students have a great year, you will in turn have a great year.
My name is Avenlea Howard. This will be my SIXTH year of teaching. I have taught fifth grade and this is my fifth year teaching fourth grade. I have grown up in Harrisonburg/Bridgewater all my life. I am a graduate of Turner Ashby High School where I participated in Competition Cheerleading, Basketball, and Softball; needless to say I am an athlete at heart. I went to Bridgewater College where I played softball all four years while majoring in Liberal Studies and receiving my Education Degree. I will be completing a Masters Degree this year through UVA.
A few things about me are: staying active is one of the things that I love to do. My husband and I are always playing sports, hiking, or just outdoors having fun. We love going to listen to local bands and music, we are fond of all types of genres. I love crafting, cooking, and being with friends and family. I am always journaling and doodling. I love having fun and am always up for a new adventure! My newest hobby is being a mom to my beautiful daughter Violet. She is so full of joy and I have loved watching her grow!
I love teaching, it is what I am meant to do. I am very passionate for what I do and I try to show that everyday to my students. I am looking to establish a strong support system with parents and that is my top priority.
My mission as a fourth grade teacher is to motivate, inspire, encourage, and support my students by providing a safe, secure, and loving environment to educate them socially, emotionally, and cognitively so they can continue to build a foundation for life long learning.
What I believe in as a teacher...