So. Hmm. Well.
My class. They keep me busy.
Some things, we are working on. Really working on. On a daily basis. Transitions. Listening. Stamina. Did I mention transitions?
Every week I have some new ideas. Some work. Some, not so much.
I keep trying.
Yesterday, I had a late afternoon walk in the sunshine and thought about all that is working. Some things really are. Today, these things are my celebration. I am counting them up and holding them close. These things. My students. Day by day, we are moving along. It is worth being excited about. We need to stand tall and proud in the land of what we can do and know that it is also what we love.
And so I celebrate: What’s working?
Building challenges. A small group that I select and a bin of materials. New people to learn from, negotiate with, be inspired by. Building structures and building community. They think the first one is the task, I know it is all about the second.
Poetry books. Echo reading. Choral reading. A booklet in our book box that we can read together with smiles and read to an adult with confidence. Our current favourite poet? Dennis Lee
Movement breaks. With silly sounds I make up on the spot. The sillier, the better. We totter and balance and swoop about and ready ourselves for more of the day. Exercise is energizing.
#Pcturebookaday And voting for our favourites. This week we visited previous Caldecott honour and medal winners. So much fun to share King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub! by Audrey and Don Wood
Buddy Reading Always a huge success! We host the kindergarten class. The room is noisy, full of language and proud, engaged little readers.
Art A few months in and we are taking risks. Persevering. Celebrating. The room is filling up with our efforts. (The stack of birds above is also a recent student art piece 🙂 )
And when I really need proof, I remember that one Friday afternoon this was left on the board.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!
Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.
There are so many things not working that I cannot focus on the positive. I am a veteran teacher. I never have discipline problems. This year, I do. I never have a difficult time engaging the students. This year I do. I ve just about always looked forward to my day at work. This year? I don’t. I’m at a loss. A total loss.
Oh, I wish I could help. When I had a tough year I hated all the slogans and traditional advice people gave: breathe, find what to be grateful for, there is always a silver lining. Yet, the same advice did actually work. Small, sometimes tiny celebrations, slowly built the bank of positivity; breathing, a cup of tea, going for a walk or dancing after school helped to stay sane. And I took the most out of school holidays -switching myself completely off from school. I hope you will find the small steps of success and tiny moments of calm that return your joy.
Terje your words are wise. It is precisely the choosing to find things to celebrate that takes me through. The breathing. The physical activity. But it can be very very hard. So hard. Know you are not alone in feeling this Susan.
You found many things to celebrate. Many. Each one special in its own way. The last picture speaks loudly. This is what we want the students to feel.
I am not sure that they feel it in every moment. But hopeful. Hopeful that day by day we build that happiness.
Carrie, They say a picture is worth a thousand words (probably not a popular quote to reading and writing teachers) but I think that last shot proves that point. Happy Thanksgiving.
It does! Indeed.
Its great to read about all the positive things going on in your classroom. Staying positive is so powerful. And I just love the artwork with the stack of birds… that is absolutely wonderful.
Transitions: they are always a challenge. That is when teachers need to be multi-taskers. Even we could only grow a few extra arms, extra eyes, extra ears and an extra mouth too.
I love these birds too! We are going to be painting next week 🙂 I think all of this extra growing of parts is the “Why can’t I clone myself?” But, since we can’t and really shouldn’t – it all needs to be about building capacity in our students. Slowly but surely!
You are so right about building capacity. Patience is the key!
Those last words say it all and we can let NOTHING stand in their way. Hugs to you!
Thank you Leigh Anne!
Such a brave and powerful post, Carrie! It can be easy to focus on all the challenges, but critical to celebrate (as you do so beautifully) efforts that sparkle. Developing little minds who believe they can solve any problem, persevere, find treasures to read, write from their hearts, share their brilliant thinking…oh, what an amazing job we have!
We certainly do! Thank you Lisa.
I love hearing and seeing every bit, Carrie, but that sentence about the block building is so wise, and I wonder how many know that activities in the classroom call for more than one goal. It’s something I’m been talking about with the teacher I’m working with. Best wishes for more celebrations of what’s working.
Thank you Linda. I hope to continue to share these!
The Bidgood has been on my radar ever since the Woods came to our store. When life seems particularly bleak and I don’t want to listen to feel-good messages, I decide to be particularly rebellious and actually listen to the same feel-good messages not because it’s what expected of me but because it was my choice. I don’t know if that made sense. The tricks we play with ourselves.
It does Earl. 🙂
Teaching is hard – so much to negotiate as we try to inspire our kids. But, you are wise to realize that even difficult weeks have moments of great teaching joy – thanks for sharing them with us today.
Thank you Tara. We have to be able to hold up these moments – thankfully this wonderful Celebration community lets us do just that.
I have tears. Thank you for sharing these many things that are working and showing growth in your classroom. As always, I love these glimpses into your room.
Crystal, thank you. I think it is so important to honour the growth and really notice it.
Love these peeks into your world and the three most important words in this post: “I keep trying.” That last shot of the chalkboard – three more great words! Do the parents of these children know how lucky their children are to be in your care? And we’re lucky to celebrate weekly in this community. It transforms my weeks too. Have a fabulous week!
Oh Ramona, you are too kind. Thank you. This really is such a lovely community!