Learning is a Beautiful Mess

"If you came into my classroom and pressed the pause button, this is what you'd most likely see ..."

Learning is a Beautiful Mess

I wanted my initial post to be a reflection of my philosophy of teaching and to share a glimpse of the reason why I love what I do. Why primary education? Why early childhood? Jump in and I'll show you ... 
To me, the ultimate purpose of an educator is not to merely fill my students' heads with content knowledge and then check to see if they got it; teaching is not a boring wash, rinse, and repeat cycle! My goal as an educator is to inspire & model a love of learning for my students and to teach them HOW to learn. The thing about children is that they are in their own little world. It's a beautiful, messy, stimulating world, and as a teacher I have the privilege of getting to step into their world. Being a teacher allows me to see life through the eyes of our future. My students teach me on the daily to live with a childlike faith, a curious eye, and a playful, adventurous heart. So come dive into this world with me! If you came into my primary classroom and pressed the pause button, this is what you would most likely see:
  • My hand on a child's forehead to check for fever because they are complaining of not feeling well (for the third time that day.)
  • You'd see a student bursting through the classroom door shouting across the room to report what so-and-so did in the hallway (because someone taking too long at the water fountain is an emergency, y'all.) 
  • Sitting across from me you'd notice a student waiting patiently, because he was interrupted while reading aloud to me.
  • You'd notice that the students at the Technology Station are actually on a math problems website instead of English Language Arts (for the thousandth time, we are doing LITERACY Stations right now, people!)
  • Meanwhile the students at the Writing Station are conversing about what they built on Minecraft while labeling their vocab pages (coincidentally NOT about Minecraft.)
  • You'd see one of my fabulous volunteer moms on the rug playing Word Work games with a small group, patiently & diligently putting out her own fires (because 6-year-olds are still learning how to follow rules and play a fair game.) 
  • Across the room you'd see a student sitting quietly at her desk, raising her hand, patiently waiting for me to check her work.
  • You'd hear a loud "ding-dong; new email!" chime from my computer that tells me that the hundredth email of the day has arrived in my inbox. 
  • Your senses would be overstimulated taking in all the sights & sounds of a busy classroom.
And while my students buzz around like busy bees, my heart is pounding and my head is racing thinking, "How am I supposed to cram in all of these objectives to each of my student's brains in this time period with instruction that is individualized to each of them and help each one grow 10% by the end of the school year with all this racket?!?!!
And then it hits me. I press pause on these thoughts in my head and realize that this "racket" going on, this hodgepodge of 22 six-or-seven year-old bodies orbiting in their own little worlds, this class of mine, these babies of mine, are learning. 
They are moving, exploring, interacting, thinking, reading, writing, drawing, playing. I stop & realize that kids don't become lifelong learners because they love WHAT they're learning; they develop a lifelong love for learning because of HOW they are learning: freely, enthusiastically, at their own pace, full of excitement & adventure. That love-of-learning spark goes out when I try to stuff my students in little boxes with a bow tied neatly on top ready to be shipped off by the end of the year. Nope! Not my little fishies in this pool! We're going to just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!
So there you have it. My goal as a teacher is for my students to leave my classroom ready to dive deep into the rest of their scholastic careers. I want them to be jumping - no - doing cannonballs into their school days, ready to be caught up in the swirl of learning, ready to swim as deep & far as their education takes them throughout their lifetime of learning.
Well, now you've gotten your feet wet in the Primary Pool. I hope you keep diving in with me as I explore the sunny days to come!
Posted in

Cassie Dixon

Believer | Educator | Dreamer

21 Comments


Pat Schaerdel - June 2nd, 2017 at 4:51pm

Cassie, I love this and can't wait for more! Great job!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:17pm

Aw, thank you for your support!

Ashley Heffernan - June 2nd, 2017 at 6:11pm

I couldn't agree more! Great job sister! Can't wait to start my own blog someday ☺️

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:18pm

Thanks sista, SHMILY! And you need to get started on a blog ASAP so that you can write about your experience teaching abroad in Australia!!! You go girl! Love you.

Lyndsey Testone - June 2nd, 2017 at 7:55pm

The world needs more teachers like you!!!! I loved reading this! Keep writing😘

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:19pm

So sweet Lyndsey, thank you! <3 Also I am LOVING SnapPages! Best platform to use :)

Barbara Andrews - June 2nd, 2017 at 8:54pm

Cassie- this was a FANTASTIC read. I fully believe God had called you to this. And I know l, without a doubt, He will supply you with all you need!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:05pm

Thank you Barbara! Your support, encouragement, and love mean the world to me!

Lajuana Kasprzyj - June 2nd, 2017 at 9:27pm

Cassie, what a wonderful talent you have! It is quite obvious your heart is in your vocation! I loved reading this and look forward to following your experiences!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:07pm

Thank you Lajuana! I appreciate the love & support!

Amber Sheehan - June 3rd, 2017 at 8:27am

Love it!!! Can't wait to read more!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:07pm

Thank you! You're the best!!

Kim Coe - June 3rd, 2017 at 10:02am

LOVE THIS! You are such a gifted educator and I'm so glad you get to share it with everyone through this blog. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to providing your students with ONLY THE BEST! 👋

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:12pm

Thank you Mrs. Coe! Your encouragement & dedication to your teachers have influenced my career more than I can express! Your support as an administrator means so much to me. Thank you for your genuine care, positive guidance, and endless support. I appreciate you!

Terina Heintz - June 3rd, 2017 at 10:30am

This is why you are going to be missed by teachers, students, and parents at CSE. As I tell you all the time, you were made to teach. I am so glad God made you a teacher. It is so important for children to have teachers that were made for teaching. Keep touching lives. My favorite quote is; To Teach is to touch a life forever. You Got This!!!!!!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:16pm

Thank you Mrs. Heintz! I could not have done it without your help! You go above & beyond for your students & teachers. Your calm, helpful, affirmative presence in my classroom has saved my sanity on so many days! You will be SO missed as such a special administrator at our school! I will miss being able to call on you for support. Thank you for making my days in the classroom brighter. Thank you for touching my life! You have influenced my career forever. I appreciate you!

Amy Gregory - June 3rd, 2017 at 10:32am

Love, love,love!!! We were blessed to have our baby be yours! Keep doing what you do. You are amazing!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:21pm

Thank you Amy! Your kind words & encouragement mean the WORLD to me coming from such an amazing educator! I appreciate the support. It was an honor to have your sweet girl in my class. Best wishes to you & your family!!

Tabitha Hymel - June 3rd, 2017 at 12:10pm

Amazing and inspirational!!! Can't wait for more!!!

Cassie Dixon - June 5th, 2017 at 2:23pm

Thank you! I could not have done it without you! You are the Room Mom I reference in the post...so patient & hard-working for the kiddos! You are such an asset to our district! Thanks for going above & beyond not only for my classes, but for all the others that you have been in. You rock! <3

Mom - June 16th, 2017 at 10:46pm

This is awesome Cass! So glad to see you writing! You've always been and talented writer and I'm so happy to see you putting this talent to use! So proud of you baby girl! Love you 😘 SHMILY