9 days down, and many more to go!
I now know why writers keep a journal with them at all times — I have had to jot down a list of things I want to reflect on and write about during these first couple weeks of school, but time seems to fly by (or when I do have time, all I want to do is take a nap….or binge watch Game of Thrones….do we really have to wait until 2019?!?!)!
Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to teaching, which can be comical since most teachers I know thrive with a schedule. The first 9 days of school were all about scheduled flexibility. We are finally settling into a routine, and it is a routine that I am thrilled with. I was a little nervous at first looking at how our schedule was pieced together, it seemed like it would be very choppy with a lot of breaks throughout the day. This schedule is exactly what my students and I (hopefully my teammate too) need.
We have four solid instructional blocks that are packed with meaningful conversations, discussions, inquiry, collaboration, reading, writing, and learning. All because we have time in our day when our kids can be kids. We have time in our day where our kids can enjoy being together, can enjoy giving their brains a quick break and in turn can enjoy learning.
In the first 9 days, I have witnessed a group of 2nd, 5th and 6th graders playing together happily outside. I have witnessed sixteen 10 and 11 year olds play a huge game of duck, duck, goose. I have witnessed 20+ 5th and 6th graders huddle together to watch and protect a toad (and move in their huddled circle to keep the toad inside.
In the first 9 days, I have also witnessed teams of 3-4 students work together to extend and analyze mathematical patterns. I have witnessed these students represent the pattern visually, in words and with numbers. I have witnessed students work in pairs to complete an online simulation to help them practice collecting and organizing data. I have witnessed students helping their neighbors write eight or nine digit numbers in expanded form, in word form and numerical form when they were struggling. I have heard students apologize for accidents and mistakes. I have heard kids say they are happy to be in class. I have heard kids say they can’t wait to be able to read and I have heard kids say they wish they could keep playing their math games. I have watched students show compassion, giving, honesty, self-discipline and perseverance.
My heart has been overjoyed with what I have been able to witness from my students so far this year. I look forward to the year to come, and how much academic, social, emotional and personal growth I am going to witness in my students, and in myself thanks to my students.
The kids I get to work with every day are awesome. I am so blessed to be able help them continue to learn, grow and play in a place where they feel welcome, safe and happy.
Here’s to 2017-2018.