So after years and years of avidly reading other teachers' wonderfully well-written, thought-provoking, and often truly helpful blogs...I've decided to take a stab at it myself.
I thought I'd start with a quick introduction of myself, my motivations for blogging and why I chose this theme for my site!
I'm currently a 5th grade teacher in Central Pennsylvania, but I'm still really new to the world of 5th grade. This is only my second year! I spent my first 10 years teaching Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 1st/2nd Multi-age. My beautiful wife and I moved here to Pennsylvania five years ago to escape the smog and traffic of the big city.
I am lucky enough to work in a great school, with staff and admin that share the same values I hold dear; democracy, environmental conservation and focusing on making great kids, not just great test scores. I'm sure to post more in the future about some of the things I think we're doing right at my school!
The move to 5th has definitely been a learning experience, and has made me feel like a brand new teacher more days than not. Pulling late nights, scouring the internet for good ideas, learning the things myself so that I can teach them...it's been a journey.
One part of that journey meant finding a whole new set of blogs to follow! Reading about the experiences and ideas from other 4th and 5th grade teachers really helped me last year with getting my feet wet in 5th. I've always thought blogging seemed interesting, and Lord knows I like to talk, so I finally decided to give it a try! Maybe one day some of the ideas I share will help another teacher!
Finally, when it came time for the important job of choosing a name and working out a theme I had to give it a lot of thought. I finally settled on using one of my favorite books of all time as inspiration, The Phantom Tollbooth.
To me, this book really embodies what teaching is all about. Milo begins his story bored and uninterested, but by the time he reaches journey's end his world is full of color. His quest to find the Princesses Rhyme and Reason, and his encounters with all the characters in the book, remind me what I should be doing as a teacher. Help kids escape the doldrums. Introduce them to numbers and words and rhyme and reason, and you fill their worlds with color.