Hello, all. It’s been a while. My first day back teaching kiddos was this past Wednesday. The week went well, but was very exhausting. My school chose to focus solely on re-culturing our students, and I think that was a very good choice, but it was also very intensive.
Anyhow, my new year’s resolution as a teacher is to bring the joy back into my classroom. It’s not a completely joyless place to be, but there are several moments I can remember where I glossed over opportunities to laugh with my students or basically ignored some of my more rambunctious students’ desires to giggle a little. While I’m not trying to say I should let those behaviors interrupt class, and it is a fine line to keep those sorts of things from spilling into valuable educational time, this year I am trying to focus on just enjoying the little people I teach more.
Part of that is having a Fun Friday every Friday that we are in school. The students get to go if their behavior stays at a B or better. The first was this past Friday. We just had chips and juice and a little bit of music but it was so fun seeing my kids relax and be happy and not stressed. Several of my goofiest little ones got up to dance for me and it still amuses me just thinking about it.
There are so many things our school lacks – so many things that I feel are basic to their growth as students and as people – but for right now, there’s not a lot I can do to change that. I can, however, try my best to give them the space within our classroom to find their own ways to grow and to meet their own challenges. I was really reinvigorated by our first week back. There are definitely still some students who present challenging behaviors, and I don’t think that’s all going to go away, but we’re working on it and I can tell they are settling into their roles as scholars. It really excites me! I am nervous but ambitious about the semester. I cannot wait to see what it brings.