Monday, October 15, 2007

I Don't Know How You Do It

After a much needed Fall Break, a two week track out, we're back in the swing of things. Year round school is a blessing. The students need the breaks from me just as much as I need the breaks from them. We track out in October, December, and March and I am so thankful for the time away, but transitioning back is always hard...especially for T.

Track out is when I remind myself why I decided to be a teacher. Its when I get to plan everything, make copies, organize, clean, sharpen pencils, replace old crayons, scrape up the old contact paper holding down the letters on their tables and put new table letters on, etc. Anyone who is a teacher knows that this is the geeky truth about what we do. We're list makers, controllers, and have a file, usually color coordinated with the theme we're teaching (ie: orange for October, green for December)... but this is what we thrive on. That and putting it all into action. When we're tracked out I can actually think again about my lessons and make them engaging and I'm always so full of passion about the exciting things we have planned and then THEY come back and everything goes in a different direction.

I was in the middle of my great lesson this morning... the many lessons we teach about "small moment stories." I almost forgot that my audience was 18 6-7 year old children, and I was furiously teaching away about the love of writing...and then just as I was about to reiterate my teaching point and send them all on their way, thinking that everyone was inspired and ready to write, K. raises her hand and says, "T. is rolling on the floor again." I look over and see him...not with the group, but behind a table, rolling, like a rolling pin over dough for homemade biscuits, on the floor. When asked to stop, the rolling became more vigorous and obvious. He rolled away from the table and closer to the rest of us sitting, criss cross, on the "carpet area," and he was testing me. Pushing boundaries... Daring me with his, "What are you going to do now Ms. H?" look. Again, I ask him to stop rolling, but this time I move over to him, get down to his level, like all great teaching strategy books tell you to do, and use a direct and firm tone, "T. I need you to stop rolling and join the rest of us on the rug." Still...nothing. So I move on and I ignore and continue with my lesson, but this time feeling deflated, until 15 minutes later when T. has decided he wants to be apart of the group. I walk over to him to see what he is working on and this is what I read:

i luv my techr ms. h bekus she luvs me

Is it a "small moment story?" No, but his writing was his way of saying "I'm sorry. I'm having a hard time transitioning back to school after my two week break because my home life is inconsistent. Please be understanding of me."

This is how I do it.

4 comments:

Mean Mommy said...

So good. The entry is so good, the story is so good, your job is so good, the way you do your job...so good. I heart your blog.

Emy said...

I love it Blair! Well done! If it weren't for teachers like you, your friends couldn't have "corporate jobs" !! Keep doing what your doing! Love ya.

sean said...

Emily sent me your blog address. I had no idea you were a teacher. It's been ages since we've seen each other (Tremont medical I think was the last encounter?). I think all teachers deserve kudos nowadays. Tough salaries, low budgets, overcrowding, understaffed, undersupplied... the list goes on. So... Kudos to you, and keep fighting the good fight.
We (The Parents) are all counting on our futures.

Cape Mama said...

Love the color coding for themes... LOVE IT! I laughed so hard reading your blog because it is such a clear reflectin of how I behave as a parent... Which makes it obvious that you really love your students and are truly dedicated to what you do! Keep doing it...the world needs more teachers like you! Would you consider cloning yourself? : )