Today wasn’t great, and I’ve been mulling it over and thinking it through all day.
After school, my colleague shared important information about some of our male students–many of whom were the young men who exhausted me and tried my patience earlier in the day–and my reaction wasn’t what I expected. Usually I go into full speed problem-solving mode, but today all I could think was: They’re just kids.
It helped me digest what was so challenging about my day from a different perspective. Through my teacher lens, a lot went wrong. I’d go as far as to label one of my classes a complete disaster today.
- I didn’t finish the lesson because kids wouldn’t stop talking over me.
- I didn’t gather data about what the kids learned.
- The hallway reset was a flop and didn’t work.
Through a human lens, many things went right.
- A student and I came up with an inside joke.
- Another asked to move own his seat to focus, then asked me to call his mom to tell her.
- She was so grateful for the phone call and we chatted for 15 minutes.
- There were a lot of high fives.
- We laughed.
When the year ends, the month, the week, the day, how do I want my students to remember me? Will they think of me as someone who made them feel seen? Valued? Worth focusing on? They probably won’t remember how their class packet was formatted or if the font was cute. They probably won’t even remember the poem we read or the analysis questions I planned and asked. They’re just kids.
“But, the real work of culture-building is in our genuine and consistent micro-behaviors: eye contact, smiles, head nods, leaning in, listening and really hearing.” –Dr. Amy Fast, Educator
I hope if anyone else had a rocky day, there’s some common ground felt here. Dr.Amy Fast has these five inspiring classroom expectations. They’re meant for students, but I find value in them, too, and I’m holding myself to numbers 2 and 3 this year in particular.
Thanks for coming by and reading.