The first two weeks of school have ended. It has been a smooth start due to looping. My class and I from last year moved from third to fourth grade together, so the transition has been easy. They know me. I know them. We quickly got to work. So, what is leaving me unsettled?
I’ve been reflecting on why I feel somewhat out of sorts. I’ve decreased my responsibilities this year (I’m no longer doing side jobs like school photographer, maintaining the school website, etc.) in order to focus more on my teaching. My work load is lighter. Granted, training a new teacher has been time consuming, but I’ve loved every second of sharing. Still, there has been this little bit of uneasiness…
I’ve been wondering if the students feel out of sorts as well. September is a time of change. There are new schedules, new routines and new expectations. How is everyone handling this very busy time? Are families adjusting to the changes that this month brings to their lives? Are many still yearning for summer?
I had one of my best summers ever! Along with personal adventures, I learned and learned and learned. I came back to school filled with an arsenal of new ideas and techniques to try out on my class. Yet, I still miss my lazy mornings sitting on the deck and easing into each day. Do my students miss summer, too? Of course, we all love each other and couldn’t wait to come back as a group, but how are they handling the transition?
In my enthusiasm to jump back in and not waste a moment of learning, have I taken the time to look and listen? Have I gauged their shift from summer to fall mindset? If I’m feeling nostalgic for summer, are they feeling it too? Most importantly, am I overwhelming them with too much, too soon?
I want to give my students time to adjust as well as foster a learning momentum. If I slow down a bit, maybe the pay off in the long term will be even more learning. My goal for Monday morning (along with the first math test) is to take a few moments to really look at and listen to my students.
I’m going to ask them, “How are you doing?”
Then, I'm going to take time to really listen to them!