A Slice of Leadership

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I teach math now.
I mean, it’s only day 2, but I’m totally calling myself a fourth-grade math teacher now.
And I’m totally in love with my students.
And I’m totally calling them my students – even though I only get them for 90 ish minutes a day.

These kids are all remote – and what it seems like they want most in the world in math class (aside from “no distractions” and “lots of fun and games!”) is a lot of time to talk in breakout rooms.

I happen to believe that talking in math is one of the best ways to learn math. . . and also that teaching kids how to have math conversations can be hard. Even if you aren’t remote.

So, I told the students that we would be working in groups, and that we would often need a group leader for those groups.

“Tell me” I said “if you are interested in being a leader soon, or if you’d rather wait a bit.”

I’m not saying that everyone’s answer surprised me. That wouldn’t be fair. I’m just getting to really know these kids. But, if I hadn’t asked I think I would have asked kids to be leaders who I now know aren’t interested in that yet. I’m glad I asked, because now I not only know who wants to be a leader soon, but I also got to know more about their personality because of their answers…

I mean, come on. You have to love the kids who know they’d rather wait. They said things like:

I would rather wait a little bit.
I don’t want to be a leader. For now…
Maybe I would want to wait because I’m very bad at using computers and also, I normally like following not leading
I would rather wait a bit.
Wait a bit.
Not now maybe at the end of math class so i can get to know the class better and feel more comfortable with being the leader

And you have to love the kids who know they want to be a leader now: They said enthusiastic and also well-mannered things like:
I would REALLY love to be a leader! I feel that I am most prepared when it comes to breakout rooms.
I would like to be a leader soon 🙂
I WANNA BE A LEADER RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m very interested in being a group leader!
Rather be one sooner than later

And you have to love the kids who are willing to do it, but don’t want to be pushy about it:

I am interested in being a leader. When ever works fine, if other people want to go first that is perfectly fine. Whenever will work fine.
I’m ok with it but i don’t want to do it all the time.

So. I’m a math teacher now. Fourth Grade.

It’s day two, and I love these kids.

2 thoughts on “A Slice of Leadership

  1. There’s so very much to love about this post! First of all, I love the responses your kids gave you. My hunch is that the kids were so honest and earnest with you because 1) they sense your sincerity, and 2) the newness of the situation gives them a fresh start.

    I’m anxious to read and learn how this transition goes for you all!

  2. The great thing about 4th graders are their honesty. As Lainie said if they are that earnest with you it’s because they already can tell that you’re being yourself around them. To that grade it’s something (at least I have found) that they deem important. I can’t wait to read more about these 4th grade adventures.

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