It has been four days since I stood in my classroom and surveyed the books. Four days since I got the papers ready. Four days since I sharpened the pencils and then shut the door, ready to take a break. My brain is now thinking of how in one day I go back. rejuvenated, refreshed, excited, and yet…
Am I really ready to be the teacher that these kids so wholeheartedly need?
I keep seeing the ideas shared. The quippy lines. The hopes and dreams that we so eagerly pass on as reminders to one another. The mantras, the quotes and even the blog posts that tell us how we should be teaching. With urgency, with passion, with creativity.
We should see each child.
We should strive for more.
We should make it relevant.
We should make it challenging.
We should make it real-world learning, whatever that means.
We say we want the students to talk, but are we quiet long enough to hear them?
We say we want innovative classrooms, but are we embracing new ideas, unafraid of change?
We say we want hands-on learning, but are we providing opportunities for that or are we stumped for how to do it?
We say we want kids to explore, but are we giving them the time to veer off our path?
We say we want choice, but are we giving it?
We share the ideas that others have and tell ourselves that they are right. That we can do education better, but then fall into our same patterns as we shut our doors and get to teaching. We nod our heads in agreement with all the pretty statements but then cannot find the time, the courage, or the know how to change.
So as I prepare for this Monday, I ask myself, is this everything you hoped it would be or could it be better? And if so, how?
Perhaps I need to ask myself the following, and perhaps you should too:
- How is there choice involved?
- How are their voices heard?
- How can they move around?
- How can it be relevant to them?
- How can it matter?
- How can it be fun?
- How will this help them grow?
And then I can plan my lesson.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child, out August 2017. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.