Hi Everyone! My name is Kelsey Geer and I am the 4th grade teacher at Pelham Elementary. This is my first year teaching in this position. If you’ve been thinking “hmmmm, if she’s new, then why does she look so familiar” it’s probably because you saw me working with all of the students in the Pelham Afterschool Program, student teaching in Ms. Giselle’s classroom, or substituting around the building. While this may be my first year as a 4th grade teacher, it certainly is not my first year at the school. One of my favorite things about Pelham is that the community allows teachers to be creative. When you walk through the halls, no two classrooms will look the same, nor will two classes be working in the same style. The community throughout the school is so uplifting and positive, which has made transitioning into this new position a breeze.
I became a teacher because I feel it’s important to take part in making a community the best it can be. By teaching students important values, how to solve problems, and strategies for working together, I feel confident that they all can be informed, contributing members of society not only while I have them in my classroom, but also for years into the future. By being a teacher, I know that the generations now/ to come will be the best this world has seen and make the world a better place, simply by teaching them how to one class at a time.
When I think about a time in the day that I love the most, my mind goes directly to MATH! Math has always been my favorite subject and I enjoy being able to show students how to break big, complicated, hard problems into manageable pieces. Not only does this help them with math, but it carries over into the real world as well! Math is when I’m able to see the most “light bulbs” go off and that is just the best feeling. During math, we do a lot of partner and group work, so being able to see students collaborate and work as teams is fantastic…another reason why math is the best! Since I am a wiggly and movement oriented individual, I love finding ways to incorporate movement into math (which helps us learn information for “longer and stronger” as we like to say). My goal is to change all of those math pessimists into optimists by the end of the year because every brain is a math brain!
When I’m not at school, I enjoy going on exercising while listening to different podcasts, cooking, baking, making art, and watching any TV show about flipping & renovating houses. I am a huge fan of podcasts and you can catch me listening to one whenever I have the chance. My personal favorite is Armchair Expert, give it a try! I enjoy drawing when I can, which is a hidden talent of mine (not so hidden from the students at Pelham, however). I can also solve a rubix cube in under 2 minutes, which is something I am often forced to do in my out of school time! An ex- student of Pelham taught me how to solve my first rubix cube.
About the Classroom:
If you’re interested in learning more about our classroom, you can check out our classroom website! https://msgeers4thgrade.weebly.com/. However, our classroom itself is full of many tips and tricks. We have a classroom “sensory pathway” which we refer to as the pathway. This pathway allows students to use movement to reset their minds and bodies, in a controlled way, in order to get back to their work. This pathway takes less than 1 minute to complete and has been a hit within the room. Students use this when transitioning between subjects, which feeling impatient, when frustrated, and so much more.
Another fun thing in our classroom is our “mystery notes”. On our back bulletin board, we have 30 envelopes all labeled with a number 1-30. These envelopes have notes from “mystery” teachers around the school who have all written words of encouragement or a positive message. The idea is that when students are feeling frustrated or need redirection, they can select a mystery note and use the positive message to help them work through a problem.
The final fun thing I wanted to share about our room is our desk arrangements! In 4th grade, we switch desks at the beginning of every month. I do this so that the students learn to work with multiple types of students, whether they are best friends or not. This is a skill that they need to succeed in the real world, and by knowing they are only with their desk mates for 1 month, it allows students to tolerate and accept difficulties with others more often. This also teaches students who are near their friends that they need to differentiate when it’s time to be friends vs when it’s time to be work partners/ how to handle that balance. It’s a tricky way to sneak in a lot of social dynamic learning.