1. I am extremely excited about how far my students have come this year, but I also really don’t want the year to end. I only have around two months left with them before school is out and our school officially becomes summer camp central. At that point, the threes and fours will combine into one class and I will be the grade school kids’ teacher. So even though I will see them every day, I will not be their teacher. Then in August they will leave me for big school. “Sunrise, sunset.. sunrise, sunset…”
2. Even though I really don’t want my current class to leave me, I have already started thinking a little bit about next year. I have looked into several different themes for the year, starting thinking about how to arrange my tables, and some ideas that I have for different lessons.
3. I know I’m only in my second year of teaching, but already this year I decided not to repeat every single art project my kids did the year before. I found that since I wasn’t stuck in that rut of repeating everything, I was able to be just as excited about my kids about each project we did. Keeping it fresh doesn’t just benefit the kids, it benefits me too! This is a system I definitely will keep in place in the years to come.
4. I complain sometimes about catching every sickness my kids get, and every time I acknowledge that the main reason I get sick is because I constantly hold and hug and love on them. We wash our hands, we use hand sanitizer and tissues and we wash our tables and chairs and so on, but close contact is still going to pass those germs no matter what. The logical solution is to just stop loving on my kids, but I can’t help it. I just love them too much to turn them away when they come running for hugs.
5. If I could make one thing happen for my class, it would be for us to live closer to more field trip-friendly places. I love field trips. It’s an absolutely chaotic zoo, yes. Kids running everywhere, too excited to sit still on the ride there, cranky by the time we get back, etc. But it’s a break from routine, it’s an opportunity for them to experience something they might never get to experience otherwise, and it bonds us as a class.
6. My wishes for my kids are simple: I wish for them to know that they can be whatever they want to be. More than that, I wish for them to truly believe that. I wish for them to know that no matter what, no matter what, they matter. They are important, their thoughts, dreams, and fears all deserve to be heard.
7. I know that recognizing numbers and beginning math skills are important, but I really feel that language and literacy skills are the most important thing for my kids to be working on right now. I do emphasize number recognition, and we work a lot on math skills because I know it’s required. But when I developed my teaching philosophy in college, the heart of it was that if you can read, you can do anything. A lot that I thought I knew in college changed when I entered my own classroom, but that is one thing that has never changed. I don’t think it ever will.
8. I have a surprise morning off today, because it’s spring break and so our kids are sort of in and out throughout the week. I am glad to have the morning off, because I have some things I need to get done today (an update on that coming soon), but I still wonder how my kids are and how they are acting for whoever their teacher is while I’m gone. I think the only time I have not worried about that was when I was gone for my wedding. Other than that, whether I was sick or out of town or whatever, I wondered about them and had to stop myself from texting one of the other teachers to check in.
9. There is a picture circulating on Pinterest right now that really makes me think. It’s a quote from Rick DuFour that says, “Don’t tell me you believe all students can learn. Tell me what you do when they don’t.” Wow. That is really something to think about while you are developing your plans. I haven’t come up with a clear response yet, but I will let you know when I do.
10. The most important thing I think I have learned over the last year is to over plan. I always keep about four backup activities- books, art projects, games, and so on- in my back pocket. You can never tell when you’re going to have way too much time and nothing to fill it, or when your kids will be wild all morning, making your quiet painting project a horrible idea. I don’t mean force them to do seat work all day long- I am very against that, especially as a baby sitter rather than actually engaging the kids. I do mean to find out how to keep them excited and involved and under control. Even if they are running all over the room, if that is part of a game you created, it’s better than them running all over the room out of pure boredom.
That’s all I’ve got for you today! Have a great one, guys!
Until next time,