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Extraordinary Educators

How Diann Moore begins each day with joy in her classroom

Lauren Muller
November 13, 2023

Diann Moore’s morning begins with hospitality.

“Good morning, beautiful!” She exclaims as the first “young scholar” as she calls her students trickle in to begin their day in her Kindergarten classroom. “I’m so happy to see you this morning!” She says brightly to another as they approach for a warm embrace. This routine continues for every child that enters the classroom. A personalized greeting, a hug and a smile. Several past scholars stop in for one of Mrs. Moore’s morning hugs before starting their day elsewhere.

Following this greeting, scholars head over to The Zones of Regulation chart where they insert a color-coded card representing their feelings. This morning, the chart was full of greens–meaning happy, but if there are other colors on the board, Mrs. Moore explains she takes time to address those feelings, asking if there is anything she can do to help resolve what might be holding them back that day.

Mrs. Moore seems to have found her calling. “If I didn’t have to make money to live, I would volunteer my time to teaching, I love it so much,” she says. “Especially Kindergarten because it’s the introduction to the structure of learning.” Mrs. Moore is well known for the fun she has in her classroom.

To create this atmosphere of fun, she  incorporates music, beats, games and movement to keep learning exciting. After school announcements, Mrs. Moore leads the class in exuberant singing and dancing. The energy is high as scholars joyfully shout and move about the room before settling onto the rug. Mrs. Moore grabs her class microphone for rhymes about the weather, counting and days of the week as scholars take turns answering questions. “My favorite activity with my scholars is my morning meeting. They don’t even know they are practicing public speaking!”

Fostering this atmosphere of trust and positivity takes intention. Mrs. Moore credits relationships as the cornerstone of successful learning. “Building relationships with my scholars is the fundamental piece. I am spending time with them during the bulk of their wake time every day.” She explains, “I need to know about their families, communities and their environments. I talk to their parents like I talk to my family.” She also takes the time to pay attention to her scholar’s individual learning styles–all of this in an effort to raise successful learners.

These methods aren’t always perfect or easy. But when things get tough or there are hard conversations to be had, Mrs. Moore shares that she tries to stay in the moment. “I don’t make a big deal about the small stuff. I say, “ok, how are we going to solve it?”

As the school day comes to a close and the young scholars make their exit, Diann Moore ends her school day at her desk preparing for another day of joy and learning. Surrounded by colorful artifacts, photographs, handmade gifts and drawings it is apparent that her warmth and positivity extend beyond the classroom–and that the memory of her hospitality will stay with her scholars well past Kindergarten. 

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