Mindful minute with an elementary school teacher - Meet Mrs. Ostrom!
With back-to-school routines in full swing, we thought it would be helpful to share a chat we had with an Ontario teacher about getting your children back into routine for another fun and exciting school year. It’s been hard on everyone this last year and a half, but for kids especially – it’s so nice to get back into that regular routine and jump right back into the fun of learning! We spoke with Ashley Ostrom, a Kindergarten teacher, about her role as a teacher and how to help as much as we can as parents, too!
- Now that school is back in session, what kind of tips can you give parents to get their children back into routine?
“You do you!” You know your children best, you know what they need to be successful so trust your instincts. As far as back to school tips. The number one thing we work on in all grades, to start the year, is usually responsibility. Can your child take care of themselves and their belongings? Can your child follow directions and clean up after themselves? Other learning skills will come into focus as the year progresses. It is important to keep in mind these are unprecedented times and as we know everyone is just doing the best that they can. As long as you can keep the excitement of returning to school a positive thing you are doing what you need to!
- Any tips on how to continue school learning at home?
Be kind to yourself. You are trying to support your child’s learning the best way possible and that’s enough. I would say just try to help facilitate ways for your child to “enjoy” learning. That’s the point really. That’s what we are trying to do at school, to create an environment where students want to learn because they enjoy it and have fun while learning. Also, don’t be shy about asking your child’s educator for additional resources to help support their learning while at home if you feel you need that.
- What is one of your favourite subjects to teach your students?
I teach in the primary grades. I have to say reading and writing is such an amazing thing to work on with students. Sure, science and physical education and math are super fun and engaging subjects to teach. However, I just love seeing the growth students can make when challenging themselves to read and write. This subject by far requires the most patience and persistence but it really is special to watch the improvements made by you helping your students.
- What is your favourite children’s book that you tend to read in class?
I have completely fallen in love with the book, In My Heart: A Book of Feelings. It is a beautiful book to use at the beginning of the school year when you are focusing on students' social and emotional learning. This book is a great starting point to get students talking about their feelings and how all feelings are valid. I will often revisit it throughout the year and students really love it.
You can find this book here - https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/in-my-heart-a-book/9781419713101-item.html
What do you love most about your job as teacher?
I think the thing I love most about my job is building relationships with my students. Some days are very challenging, I might be unsure if I am doing everything I can to best support my students. Knowing that I’ve built a trusting and loving relationship with my students is really so rewarding. I feel very lucky to get to do what I do.
Sometimes it really is helpful especially for us parents to see things from the eyes of our children’s teachers! Ashley loves her job and loves what she does for a living, which I’m sure is how most teachers feel. The back-to-school transition can be tough, but it’s helpful to know that our children are in the best hands when they venture off to the classroom. Like Mrs. Ostrom says in this blog – be kind yourself! We’re all doing the best we can and that’s all we can do.