Favourites

This is the time of year that many children (and adults) spend time making a list of their favourite things – either things they hope Santa will put under the tree, things or people of this past year they are thankful for, or perhaps things they wish for in the New Year. So it’s not surprising that Favourite Things is a song often heard throughout the Christmas season. …sing along (…but it may end up replaying in your head all day…)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Icicles on tree limbs and family-time love
Bright copper kettles warm woolen mittens
Mugs of hot chocolate and finding my lost glove
Brown paper packages tied up with strings-I know this is one of Tania’s favourites 🙂
These are a few of my favourite things…

Cream colored ponies and crisp apples strudels
Pink “my little ponies”
and gingerbread creations
DSC_2548Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Christmas cards and holiday hits on all stations
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings 
Reindeer that fly with moonlit clouds as wings
These are a few of my favourite things…

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Time for party dresses at holiday bashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favourite things… 🙂

My first (…I have many) favourite teacher was Mrs. Sheardown for Grade 3 (or was Mrs. Mossey my teacher in Grade 3? I know she was an elementary favourite too…). She was so kind. Her presence was like a grandparent. I think she is the first favourite teacher that comes to mind because I really needed extra support (emotionally) that year. My grandparents used to live right next to my elementary school – the first house past the school fence. I just loved going there at lunch or after school – it was one of my favourite things to do. But Grade 3 was a difficult year because my grandmother passed away. I still have all the thoughtful hand-made sympathy cards that Mrs. Sheardown and my classmates sent to me while I was grieving at home.

flower-22656

For a few years after Grade 3, Mrs. Sheardown and I would keep in touch by writing letters. I think I still have a few letters from her tucked away. Now that I think of it, that’s probably the reason why, when I was a teacher, I gave my students stamped, self-addressed envelopes and paper at the end of the school year. Sure I wanted them to keep up with their spelling and writing practice – but I guess I also hoped they would keep in touch. And some of them did 🙂

Years later, some of my previous students invited me as a ‘friend’ on Facebook. I remember them as 6 and 7 year olds and now, thanks to technology, I appreciate the opportunity to see how well they are doing as teenagers. It’s great to see the gifts that were emerging at a young age – be it theatrical, musical, mathematical – continue to develop in their teenage years.

I had a couple of favourite teachers during my BA degree in Psychology – one was Dr. Tony Robertson. I recall taking a few of his courses and particularly enjoyed his neuropsychology course. I usually remembered a lot from his classes because of his calm presence and great stories. He was approachable, always helpful, and available to chat after class. One day he offered our class the optional after-class opportunity to dissect a sheep’s brain. I was eager to learn this way (…not surprising if you recall my post on brains …or my CSI post ) – and remember learning from Dr. Robertson while dissecting that sheep’s brain as if it happened yesterday!

sheep-brain-rheann-earnest

According to Google search results – Dr. Robertson is still teaching in the psychology department at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and is also a professor at the University of Victoria (UVIC)! After reading about his Brain Electrophysiology and Neuropsychology Lab at VIU – and that “a new addition to the lab this coming year is an infrared video-based eye-tracker I have decided that after about 18 (!?) years, I am going to contact him this week –

because I am also learning about eye-tracking this year!

In order to improve current understanding of teachers’ motivation and emotion, I am extending my research by applying ‘eye-tracking’ to explore the behavioural indicators of teacher-student engagement in classrooms.

I have already posted a few times on this site about the current influence of another one of my favourite teachers – my supervisor. Dr. Klassen is now leading a new research centre (PERC: Psychology in Education Research Centre) at the University of York in the UK! I am super excited about my plans to travel to PERC in the New Year so I can learn how to apply eye-tracking technology to classroom research.

I am passionate about this area of research because I am aware (both as a student and as a teacher) of the powerful influence teachers can have on their students. According to Hattie (2003), teachers have a greater influence on students’ achievement than any other external factor – greater than home experiences, peers, principals, and school characteristics – because of what “teachers know, do, and care about” (p. 2).

I recall the caring nature of Mrs. Sheardown,
I recall how Dr. Robertson effectively shared what he knew, and
I appreciate all that Dr. Klassen is doing to support my learning.

Did you/do you have a favourite teacher(s)?

If so, I’d love to hear why that teacher made your list of favourites.

You can click on the diagram below to post your reasons
on my ‘wallwisher’ wall:

favourite teachers

Learning new technology tools is one of my favourite things so, just for fun, I hope you will try out ‘wallwisher’ by posting on the wall I made – I look forward to reading your notes about favourite teachers 🙂

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