Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
The holidays are a wonderful time to reflect on all the marvelous things young students have learned and accomplished during the year. They have grown and changed so much during 2013, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Wasn’t it just yesterday they were babies going off to their first day of school? Now they are little holiday helpers who can read, count, tell time, follow directions, and light up a room with their energy and optimism.
What a pleasure it is to have these young students around at holiday time, eager to show off their newly acquired skills. Give them a chance to demonstrate what they have learned by being true holiday helpers. “Sarah, can you read me the directions for this pudding, while I try to make it quickly?” “Ben, please bring in three logs from the backyard wood pile, and at 7 o’clock bring in three more.” “Michael, please count the place settings on the table to make sure there is a place for all eight of us.” “Megan, please read the baby his favorite Elmo book. He loves that!”
The end of the year is also a great time for young students to set goals. Goals can be short-term: “Help your little brother send a letter to Santa before it’s too late.” Goals can be mid-term: “Read two good books during holiday vacation.” And goals can be long-term: “Make sure all homework is perfect between Jan. 2 and report card day in February.”
Let you child rejoice in what he or she has accomplished during this past year. Now’s the time to also help them understand that future success is easily attainable. Help them set reasonable goals, and show them how proper planning and diligent work can lead to accomplishing these goals.