Needs.  Wishes.  Ideas.  Beliefs.  Hopes.  Passions. :   A job description (of sorts)

Assist.  Help.  Follow my lead.  Observe.  Get in it.  If the kids are split into groups and I’m in one place, be in the other.

Shadow kids who “need” it as much as possible without seeming too obvious and so it doesn’t keep the entire class from moving forward together.

Make a point to check in with kids who don’t need this extra attention.

Watch for kids who need extra help and help them.

If someone struggles at circle time, hold them, stroke their back etc.

Give kids individual time each day to work on something specific.

If you have a favorite or a not-favorite, let it be as invisible as possible.

KIND. BUT. FIRM.

KIND. BUT. FIRM.

KIND. BUT. FIRM.

I love the kids but I’m the adult, trying to set the example and set limits.

That being said, I like to be as democratic as possible when making decisions about what we do and how we are with each other.  I like it to come from them.

Work with kids individually if they need it, or if you are asked or if you are just naturally picking up on a specific child’s needs.

Clean.  Tidy.  Clean.  Organize.  Clean.  My head is elsewhere and cleaning, sadly (or not) is often my last priority.

Be the big yard support to give me time to recollect, reset and have my break.  I don’t like being away from the class when it’s “in session…”

Be flexible.  Things may change at a moments notice.  Be able to shift gears due to child interest, a more in depth study, a project that doesn’t work or any other opportunities.

Stick with kids through a project even if you have to partially be their eyes, hands, or voice.  Everyone should have a voice and take part in what we have to offer (even if it seems like that’s not what they want).

That being said, be interested in what the kids are doing, learning, engaged in but LET THEM DO IT.  We are not here to answer questions; we are here to help them come up with more questions.  Depth and breadth is the key to learning.  Giving answers shuts down the inquiry.  Trust the kids.  Trust yourself.  We are learning.

If you have a particular interest, talent, longing, let’s do it.  I love it when I feel comfortable enough for the other teacher to take the end of the day circle or have a time to present something they want to share.  I can be so focused, let me know what you would like to try and let’s try it.

What is important for ME to accomplish and be in my classroom:

This is my seventh year and I love my job.  I love the work we do and the way we are able to do it.  I have built this program with all my passions and love of learning.  Teaching is a way of being more than an action.  I can be very specific about what I’m wanting to see happen in the classroom but I always let the kids alter it to their needs.  This classroom is an evolution and is different every year because every year there are different kids.  We rarely hit on the same topics or projects.  This keeps all of us fresh and interested.

I love the kids but I’m not here to play with them.  I’m here to help them learn to play and cooperate with each other, find their interests, develop their interests, make choices for themselves about their own learning and discoveries.

I’m passionate, emotional (did I say emotional?) and completely tied to my job, my families, my kids, my own family and my own learning.  I am not always as communicative as I should be.  When I’m working, I get stuck in my head and the rhythm of the day and what is next and how we are going to transition to that next project, who’s needing extra help that day, how I can make it smooth for them and the other kids and on and on and on…  I try to remember to pop out of that mind track and let my coworker know what is going on inside my head.  A few years I have worked alone and depended on myself for everything.  It’s something I try to work on.  Quiet usually means I’m thinking.  If people could only read minds (or not).

I learn with the kids.  It is not a cliché’ that kids teach us.  I learn along side of them and am aware that I need to set my ego aside.  Sometimes I lose my cool.  Especially when kids hurt other kids repeatedly (even though the “repeat offenders” are usually the one’s I have a soft spot for).  I think I am pretty consistent in my approach to learning how to be in a community.  But I know this can be a trigger for me on occasion.  I know it is a natural reaction when someone is hurt but I always try to think about what both children are feeling and try to not react right away.  I don’t always succeed.  When I make mistakes, I have no problem apologizing to the kid (s) and letting them know that not everyone always makes good judgments but that we can mend them together.

Sometimes I have to step out of the room to recollect.

I’m not fake with anyone and this includes the kids.  There is no patent “good jobs” coming out of this classroom.  When I am genuinely impressed or excited, I express it but I mostly want the kids to be satisfied with their work because of how they feel about it.

Parents feelings matter.  Enough said.  (and they want their kids to eat their lunch and I like to make this happen as much as possible).

There is no topic we don’t approach if the kids bring it up.  I obviously try to keep everything age appropriate but life comes up and sometimes it will not be ignored.  Sometimes these actually become my favorite times with the kids.

We check in with each other every morning.  We are a community that spends much of our lives together.  We all matter.

Genuine.  Genuine.  Genuine.

Love.  Love.  Love.

Respect.  Respect.  Respect.

Safe.  Safe.  Safe.  Safe.  Safe.  Safe.  Safe.  Safe.  (Emotional as much as physical).

Kindness.  Kindness.  Kindness.

Kids are naturally programmed to learn, I don’t want to stand in their way.

Follow your heart.  It does not lie.

I could go on forever…but I’ll stop here.

Love,

Michelle

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