Be the change, being me, reflection

I Think It Is Time to Stop the Hurry

image from icanread

I stopped being in a hurry when I realized that all I did was yell at my own children because of my own poor planning.  The realization of how I created that stress hit me like a brick.  I stopped being in a hurry yesterday in my classroom, when I realized that there is only so quick 27 students can truly get ready and that every day we rushed out of the room not taking a good moment to say thank you.

There are many things we battle as educators, many things that are beyond our control.  And yes, time is one of those.  We are given a finite amount of time to teach those children all those things that someone decided they should know.  And we feel the pressure to hurry, the get through it all, to cross it off our list so we can hurry through the next thing.

Yesterday i stopped yelling at the end end of the day.  Instead I quietly called them up to mailboxes and then I watched them work together.  I stopped telling them what to do and waited for them to figure it out.  Sure I ended social studies 4 minutes before I normally do, but we still got through it, they still had the time they needed, and at the end of the day we walked out as the first group in our building with smiles on our faces.  Sure we didn’t quite get to our Friday huddle but we got to say goodbye without me yelling.

I think it is time we just made it work.  I think it is time I chose silence rather than orders.  I think it is time I stop being in a hurry.


I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” will be released this fall from PLPress.   Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.



15 thoughts on “I Think It Is Time to Stop the Hurry”

  1. I had a very similar moment last week in my third grade class. I spend the last 5 minutes hurrying them, shouting at them to remember to get their mail, their backpacks, their planners. This week I decided we would no longer stack our chairs. We would stop 5 minutes early. The students (and I) were much calmer. We had time to chat about plans for the evening. They had time to look at the items in their mailboxes. It was a much better end to a good day.

  2. I can definitely relate to this. In my first years teaching, my principal was really strict about using every minute of instructional time and would chastise us for wasting ANY moment in a day. I adapted to meet her standards in fear of retribution but think I lost aspects like this because of that pressure. I’m so glad I’ve learned the importance of some down-time in the classroom.

  3. Pernille, it takes a lot to admit this. I see this day in and day out and I will be sharing your post. Good for you to slow down and speak less. I also believe this applies to more than just the end of the day or period. Slowing down on a daily basis will create more patience and reflection in the classroom.

    Thanks for sharing,

  4. Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts! It’s so true that we add to classroom stress when we constantly rush and aren’t thoroughly planned. So much to do, so little time! I’ve tried to minimize end of the day chaos by packing up book bags right after lunch. Not perfect but we’re getting there.

  5. Thanks Pernille for being real and honest. I also can really relate to this and will remember your words at the end of the day when I feel that ever so pressing panic closing in. Can’t wait to share it with others.
    Thank you!

  6. This is imperative with my students. They are terrible listeners for sixth grade, so we end the day 95% of the days with a moment of silence so that I’m not yelling to end things. I like the idea of just letting them do things at their own pace. Planning for those five extra minutes has to be the helper. Thank you for speaking up.

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