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ERIC Number: EJ829693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
The Joys of Teaching the Upper Elementary Grades
Reifman, Steve
Phi Delta Kappan, v90 n6 p431-434 Feb 2009
Teaching upper elementary school students is a joy because they are still enthusiastic about learning and will contribute energy and invest themselves completely in worthwhile projects; will engage in higher-level challenges; work with a greater sense of future purpose; and can develop enduring habits of mind and habits of character. In this article, the author describes the joys of teaching the upper elementary grades based on his 14 years of being an educator and spending the last nine years of his career exclusively at this level. He describes the "Tower of Opportunity," a seven-floor structure as a visual metaphor to help his students connect daily learning activities to the higher purposes he was trying to promote as a teacher. Each floor of the tower features one of the seven life roles such as citizen, consumer, and lifelong learner, and shows examples of each role listed on small doors. The message of the tower is that education is the key that opens doors and that the more successful people are in school, the more opportunities they are likely to have in the future. The author stresses the point that upper elementary students will fulfill their potential only when teachers make a concerted effort to nurture the intrinsic motivation to learn and to grow that all students bring with them to school.
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A