Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why I love Quiet Mornings

Awww Saturday morning. I feel like I can sit still for a minute. It's quiet, the dog is outside, Kenny is still sleeping, I just cleaned the kitchen (taking a break until I move onto the next room), and a minute to think to myself. This school year I'm trying something different. I've always struggled with how to properly "correct" student work and what to do with it then. Normally I just put a check on the page and put it in the kids' mailboxes, they take it home, and probably it goes right into the trash. I seriously doubt parents looks at it, so it's kind of a big waste.....of paper, of time, of everything. I have advanced kids, my WHOLE class is advanced. I have first and second graders, all pretty much working at their own advanced pace, which is why I have a smaller class, so I can actually work one-on-one with them every single day. This is only my third year teaching multi-age (7th year overall), so there are still things I'm changing and trying and getting rid of. Here's how I've changed so far this year....when students are done with their work, they come to me. I look at what they have done and if something is wrong, it's addresses immediatly, fixed, discussed, worked out, and then turned into THEIR MAILBOXES. I'm sure parents still aren't going to look at the work, but at least it's not sitting in the try for me to have to put a check on it later when I don't even remember what it was and the kids aren't looking at it a week later thinking, what did I do wrong? They won't even remember? The problem with this method is that I am constantly talking/instructing ALL DAY LONG. From the second the kids get into the room, I have one or two right there at the table with me, working on things. I know that's my job, and believe me, I love my job, but this method allows me ZERO time to STOP teaching/talking. It's one child after another. If all the kids were "on the same page" with their assignments, I would have 5 or 10 minutes here or there to walk around the room or sit down for a second, just to recoup my mind. But with these smarty pants kiddos I have (and love dearly), I don't get that minute to unwind. Despite all that, the kids are learning better and more effectively from me this year than in the past. Even though they are constantly checking in with me, things are progressing much better for them. I have to say that I am more exhausted at the end of the day than I have ever been though. I can feel it every single day when I get home. Man, am I tired. As October begins, I think I am going to give them more independence with turning work in. Not go back to the way I used to do it before, but just to balance it out a little, because I know that I'll get burnt out this way real fast, and they will too. But I do feel good about the way they are progressing already this year. Advanced kids are so great to work with. I can introduce a concept to them (for example, borrowing) and in two days they get it and are ready to move onto the next concept. Just like that. And another thing I love about advanced multi-age is that the older kids can help the younger ones....they can explain things in their own "kid" words and sometimes the younger ones understand it more coming from another kid versus me. It's so cool how my classroom works. But this is why my brain is fried on Fridays. Or everyday. That's why finding this much needed peace and quiet at home is important. It won't last forever, in a minute Kenny will be awake and talking my ear off and trying to get me to go here and there with him. The dog will want to play and the phone will start ringing. But right now, it's still quiet, I'm still in my PJs and there's no one sitting in front of me needing an explanation as to why they have to put the "one" here and subtract. I love it.


doubleduty said...

Cherish this moment!!

Lori said...

YES! And you aren't hearing your name over and over and over...HA!
One day this week I had to say "guys, just give me 5 minutes, 5 minutes without hearing my name. ok?" LOL!