I thought they would all remember. I thought they would all instinctively know. After all, by now, we have spent so much time together. I am sure they had me pretty figured out. Yet, after I surveyed them last Friday, I realized a few things. They have plenty of demons for me to battle when it comes to English, and boy, do they not remember the first day of school.
That first day of school. I should have known. After all, I don’t think I remember any of my first days or what was said, what we did. More an overall feeling of confusion, an overall feeling of nervousness yet wanting to get through the day so that the first day would be over; a new year begun.
So today we spent 15 minutes discussing the survey results, but also more importantly going through things that were said the first day of school. Yes, you can really move the tables and chairs wherever you want. Yes, you can really work ahead on projects and hand them in before they are due. Yes, you can come up with your own ideas. Yes, you can sit by whomever you want. Things that I thought by now they surely just knew.
You should have seen the look of surprise on many faces.
So as we lead up to the next winter break, as we get closer to an exciting time for many students; take the time to remind. Take the time to restate some of those things you said on the first day. Discuss as a class what you discussed on the first day. Bring it back up and watch it sink in for the first time for some. I thought they knew but once again I should have known better. As we unwind; remind and see the change, plant the seeds for 2015.
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. 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 Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.