- Bringing Project Based Learning to our Classroom - August 12, 2018
- Keep the Engagement Alive: Start the Year with Purpose - August 5, 2018
- It's Our Fault: A Teacher's Confession - March 18, 2018
- Keeping Your Teaching Real: A Teacher's Role - March 11, 2018
- Sketch Notes in the Elementary Classroom - February 15, 2017
- Teach From the Heart - February 9, 2017
- Who is the Teacher: School or Family? - January 11, 2017
- Dear President Elect Trump, From Your Teachers - November 17, 2016
- Let them Be Children - October 21, 2016
- Print Resources: Great Tools for Kids - October 17, 2016
I dropped the ball today. I had my lesson plans done and I started my day. This afternoon, however, my class had the opportunity to attend a special presentation from the zoo ambassador program. I went about my classroom routine of Monday, end of the nine weeks, new reading groups and new MTSS groups and grade cards and parent teacher conferences start tomorrow and it is Monday routine. What are we doing?
I want to reach each and every learner. I differentiate, I test, I group, I reteach, I extend, I plan, I instruct, I use technology, I do more and plan more and accomplish more with less. I have 24 students in my classroom (I know, nationwide this is on the small class size but 24 fourth grade bodies, minds, ideas in one classroom is to capacity and overflowing). I have 30 students in my reading room with three groups (just downgraded from four from the first ¾ of the year because we needed smaller sizes in other rooms until now,finally). I have MTSS for math each day with 20-30 students. I have science, social studies, writing, language arts, math, community building, social skills, and anti-bullying lessons. What are we doing?
I want to reach each individual. I have students with IEPs for speech and for learning and they have requirements. I have students without IEPs who need assistance with following direction and organization and staying on task. I have parents to communicate with and conference with and provide information about our classroom events and learning. I have parents who read and respond to these communications. I have parents that do not. I have fundraisers and special presentations and announcements. I have recess duty. I have faculty meetings and committee meetings and after school club. My mind is whirling a million miles an hour thinking about what is next, where are we going, where am I supposed to be, what should I be doing? What are we doing?
I am on overload. I love my students, yet I don’t feel I have the luxury of time to get to know them as individuals and take time to listen. When did our society and our school system become so pushed, so rushed that we began to listen less? What are we doing that the push is to get it done instead of do it well? How do my students feel if this is how I feel?
There are basic needs for every individual and one of those is a sense of belonging and to be loved. I know the importance of creating a community in classrooms and how this will foster student growth and learning. I love the beginning of the year when I take time to get to know students. But then it gets “real” and we push and we have to move on and do what is next and accomplish and get ready and move on and the rush to the end is on. I want to stop time. I want to quit wishing my life away…it’s almost Friday. It’s almost Spring Break. It’s almost over! What are we doing?