Today, my heart was not in my morning plans. I was leaving at noon to attend a funeral of a family friend, so sub plans and have-to's were on my mind along with the service that afternoon. Our schedule is very rigid in the mornings because Lisa (my partner) pushes in for 35 minutes to support 4-5 of my treasures in reading. She was absent, so I decided to change up the schedule.
After attendance, Reader's Cafe began. For 30 minutes, all you could hear was the environmental music in the background. All my treasures were engaged in their books. No movement except to find another book. No one was talking. As I walked around checking on their selections and notebooks, they were quick to finish our conversation and get back to their books. Today, I was a distraction. How did we get to this point?
Next, we had our morning meeting where we integrate math into weather and daily numbers. It was rainy and dreary outside. What a great day to experiment with Explore time. So, I explained that during our Explore Time, here are our choices: read/buddy read, write/buddy write, math choices(we have a math choice wall), and draw. As they dispersed to their choices, once again I watched closely at what they chose. I have many treasures who have a passion for drawing and art. I showed them how to make a "drawing book" by stapling and folding multiple papers together. Other treasures chose to go back to their books, even my promising readers. Some of my boys have a passion for writing. They have been collaborating on a story and were working on the final piece. While I was working at our "Guzik's Galaxy" table, I looked at each one of my treasures and was filled with emotion. Not once did I need to redirect. Not once did I need to have them lower their voices. Talking was minimal and quiet to respect those reading. How did we get here?
Our class is a community! We have respect for one another! We value our opinions and thoughts. Self-doubt has been my internal battle lately. I've been lacking assurance in my heart what I know about learning in my head. Today, I felt validated. Today, I was reaffirmed by my practice. Today, I recognized I am reaching my treasures in my own way. While I can't control the extraneous duties, have-tos, and meetings that are supposed to make my teaching easier, I can control the atmosphere and climate of my learning community in my room. Today, I celebrated learning!!!
Celebrate what you want to see more of.Thomas J. Peters