Back to Slicing!
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers.
It’s the “last day of school eve” here. Always a time for reflection. . . What went well this year? What should I have done differently? What will I do differently next year? As I ponder these questions, my end of the year work keeps piling up. Report cards, room cleaning, parent emails, planning for next year, meetings, meetings, meetings. But for me, reflection is one of the ways I close up my year. Tomorrow I will say goodbye to my 2013 – 2014 students and that always highlights what a strange thing time is.
At field day today one of my math students was at the chalk art station with me. This math student joined my math class late in the year, and I haven’t had as long to get to know her. I watched her draw a beautiful picture of two horses on the blacktop today. “That’s beautiful!” I said, as I realized that it was the first time I’ve seen her draw. I realized at that moment how familiar this feeling is, to find out things about my students at the end of the school year. They are always things I wish I had known all year.
Every year, I try to get to know my students. I do community building and Human Bingo. We make playdoh representations of something important to us on the first day of school, and share during morning meetings. We confer during literacy, and spend time throughout the day being ourselves. So today I am asking myself why I had never seen my math student draw a picture before, why I didn’t know she had a love of art.
I wondered today, as I remember wondering last year…. Am I really doing the things I think I am doing when I meet my class each year? This year we spent more time getting to know each other. We talked about growing our brains, and I remember asking everyone to share the activity they were most successful and passionate about. I remember many of the answers, but I don’t remember all of them. What can I do next year to make sure that I get to know the passions and special talents of my students? How can I make them comfortable enough to truly share in the beginning of the year and beyond? I have a few ideas, but I’d love to hear yours!