September 1, 2016

A PERFECT Day on the First Day of School

Yes, I said it.  Today was the first day of school and it was PERFECT!

Many were nervous but they were so willing to work and stayed on task.  I thought I'd hear the sounds of grumbling when I asked them to write but that just wasn't the case.  I didn't even have one student ask how to spell a least not yet.

It was simply amazing.  It reminded me of that moment when you finally are midway through the year and realize the room is hushed, kids are settled, everyone is working, and you're actually sitting at your desk for a moment.  Pure bliss!!  I know this is just that first day of school and it could all drastically change next week but I'm going to savor the moment.  I'm still awake and typing a blog post.

Here are first day pics.

So I was lucky enough to go to a Lester Laminack workshop.  Let me tell you, he didn't disappoint and every teacher should go listen to him speak.    He was right on with so many points and all the reasons why I went into this profession.

Here are some Lesterisms I plan on living by this year!

"Childhood is not a preparation for anything; you only get one and teachers must protect it."
"Use striving learners as opposed to struggling learners."
"Stop and ask yourself what it is that the least of them need to be the best of themselves."
"If you are teaching anything for the RIGHT answer then you are teaching WRONG."
"We are in the business of raising HUMANS not SCORES."

And last but not least he asked us why we had kids raise their hands. Of course the answers revolved around having order, structure, making sure kids were taking turns, not having kids talking over others, or having that one that is the only one to answer.

We don't raise our hands when conversing and if someone is we know to use our manners and wait our turn.  He left us with trying to see if we could have a classroom where students could converse without having to raise their hands.  They need this experience.  

Kids experience raising their hands, one student being called on, one correct answer, and then the teacher moving on.  He said they need to experience expanding their conversations, asking questions, and taking in all ideas.  They can learn so much by doing this. me crazy but I said after this workshop I was going to start this day 1, then I questioned it, and thought I'd back out.  As we met on the rug for our first Chit Chat message I had kids blurting out and interrupting others.  I went over the expectations of using manners and being polite.  We discussed trying to have a classroom where we could just talk, not having to hold your hand up, and wait to be called on.

We'll see how it goes but not one student was called on today because they raised their hand and when a student did I just reminded them they could talk to me if they weren't interrupting someone else.

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