I have been away from Blogging for a while, and I am so excited to be back among such wonderful friends...
|Graphic from DJ Inkers|
This has not been my easiest year, but it certainly has been among the most interesting!
We started the year with record heat waves--the hottest day being 107 degrees. I recognize that plenty of teachers teach in that kind of heat, especially my pals in Florida, Texas, and several other southern states. It is a bit more unusual for us... there are thirty-six sixth graders squished into our little classroom--and our school is not air conditioned. We were reduced to "minimal impact activity," (AKA no outdoor recess) and left in search a cool place to sit. The door handles in direct sun were too hot to grasp and the water in our water bottles was too warm to drink. I have to admit, most of us watched the clock and thought of cool things to do when we got home. We all now know the meaning of the vocabulary word, sweltering.
Along with the temperature, the "temperament" of my classroom changes each year (like everyone's, I'm sure). Some years, the kids are quiet and thoughtful. Other years they are rowdy and hard to control. Some years the kids are giggly and immature. Other years, they are mature (physically and emotionally) beyond their age. And this year... Well, I guess I am just not sure yet.
We have a LOT to work on. I will leave out the scary stuff and instead focus on one troubling characteristic: At this point, they are just not "participators." They don't raise their hands to offer comments or answers to questions. They don't get involved in discussions. They don't volunteer to help other teachers or other kids. They don't work in cooperative groups. And they don't always treat each other kindly. Of course, there are exceptions to those generalities, but overall, many of these students are simply... removed.
Aside from Common Core, we have a lot to work on. I am not used to such widespread apathy and I hope to eventually find ways to engage them. I am not sure if I can teach them to care about their schoolwork, or each other, or their school, or their world--but I am sure going to try. There are a few amazing kiddos in the bunch and I am going to count on them to help me as we change our focus to leadership, service, and academic excellence. The clock is ticking and I'm READY!
And, before I go, I wanted to thank each of you who stopped by my blog when it was stuck interminably on those garage pictures. Thanks for wondering and worrying about me. I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to come back to BlogLand and find those sweet comments and e-mail messages. I am anxious to visit your blogs and see what YOU have been up to. Again, thanks for checking in on me. I am so glad to be back.