Monday, March 1, 2010

Easier to Blame the Kids Than Reflect: What Happened Today?

Today was not one of my most favorite days in kindergarten. A multitude of factors influenced the day and I must give them their fair props. Amongst those that stand out in my mind:
  • I was out of the classroom for an entire week while my intern was doing her solo week. She is wonderful and the kids love her; it's just that having 2 teachers is a lot like having a 2 household situation as in the case of divorced parents.We are consistent, but they still test us!
  • Before last week was winter break, so it's been 2 entire weeks since the kids have had me with them in class.
  • It was Monday, a day in general where we have to introduce lots of new information; This means lots of time on the carpet and lots of having to participate and pay attention! Even though we have movement breaks, long stretches on the carpet pose a huge challenge.
  • I felt stressed after reading the District writing assessment prompt which requires my students to do writing that, at first glance, appears to be much higher than the stage they are at. 
  • My most unique special student normally has some transition challenges on Mondays; so, with me being back and, in addition, a new class helper for her today, things were a bit high energy/anxiety.
  • The kids talked over whoever was talking at many points in the day; whether it was one of their peers sharing or me speaking, they were interrupting and generally being disrespectful. Do they do this at home? It makes me wonder.
  • Kids are still adjusting to their new seating arrangement from before winter break. I am still evaluating if I have put the best combinations together. Time will tell.
  • One of the students has been acting out with attention seeking phrases and today hit an all time high or is it low with his blurt out, "I just wanna die." Of course I am concerned about any child who utters those words and will be following up with his parents. 
So now that I reflect, was the day all bad? Well, not really. Did the kids learn their new "word of the week" and letter of the week? Did we introduce the new theme, "Wheels go Around" and share items brought from home? Did we work together in partners to decide which vehicles from our story are most important?  Did we celebrate a student's birthday? Did we learn about subtraction and make up stories on our white boards?
Yes, we did all of that. And I think we went home with smiles on our faces. Perhaps everyone, except for maybe me?
I need to remember that teaching is messy, imperfect, and often exhausting. And when I am mindful of that, I can have much better Mondays.


Unknown said...

There are some days when you're teaching and everything goes right and you don't want the day to end. And then there are days like yours today. I appreciate your candidness. Just remember that there are a lot more of the better days...hopefully tomorrow will be one. :)

Joan Young (aka Mancini) said...

Thank your for your wise words! I am hoping for a better day today. Sometimes simply voicing the frustrations gives way to better solutions. Thanks again.

Mande said...

I so empathize! Somedays I wave goodbye and think "I love, love, love being a teacher" and on the days I don't I can at least remember thinking that on the other days; ) Your saying that teaching was "messy" was so true; I loved how you focused on what your students accomplished! Thanks for the motivation!
P.S. My kids are so loving your songs!! Their favorite is the Like song : )

Joan Young (aka Mancini) said...

Thanks so much Mande. Yes, some days are just more challenging than others. Thankfully we had a great one today! I am glad your class is enjoying the songs :-) Take care.

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