Sometimes, I have to remind myself to slow down, and enjoy the moment. This statement can be applied to so many areas and events in our lives. This mantra seems to have attached itself to my thoughts these days. If I embrace it, it will certainly impact my teaching and the relationships I'm building with my students in positive ways. When I think about it, this is the reasons why I became a teacher in the first place...because I wanted to make a difference.
It starts with relationships. Maybe you've heard this before, but it's true. If you want to reach a child, build a relationship with him first and the rest will follow. It's easy to get caught up in the day to days of teaching. The mental checklists, the lesson plans, and the curriculum are all constant staples in our world. However, these will not be the things that our students will remember.
Last week, one of my first graders asked me if she could share something during our morning meeting. If you know anything about first graders, you know they enjoy telling REALLY long stories. While I enjoy their stories, we don't have enough hours in the day to entertain them all. So, I reluctantly agreed to let this eager first grade share her story. We were in the middle of our meeting and Karina asked if she could get the note she wanted to share. I said yes, and she returned with a piece of notebook paper. The title at the top was, "10 Things I Like About My Teacher". Here is her list:
1. She is nice.
2. She loves us.
3. She believes us.
4. When we can't do something she helps us.
5. She lets us have free choice.
6. She is wonderful.
7. She is funny.
8. She laughs at what we say that is funny.
9. She is serious.
10. We love her.
As she was reading this list, I had to smile. I had no idea that I was the subject for her list. It was so sweet and so sincere. I can't tell you how glad I was to have taken the time to let her share this note. I especially like number nine but I'm not so sure how to take it. It does confirm a few things. Karina knows that we do "serious" work in our classroom, but we also take the time to know each other, love each other, and... laugh.
By the way, Karina said that it was o.k. for me to share her note.