Thursday, March 8, 2012

Slice 2012 8 of 31: Slowing Down

The first words out of my 12 year old today were, "I can taste spring break."

I know that he is as anxious as the rest of my family to relax and slow down.  Slowing down has been the lesson I took away from a day of great reflection surrounding common core.  Our fearless leader, Jill, always seems to help me discover something that I should be thinking about to improve my time with children.  So, when she reminded a roomful of K-1 teachers to step back and listen to kids while embracing workshop, I heard her loud and clear.

I have been so busy worrying about getting what I think I "have" to get done that somedays I feel like I gently shoo off kids that would otherwise need to be heard.  It is somedays hard to find a balance with 25 eager little eyes and ears who are dying to tell you about something, waiting for you to listen to their every word.

I have had to remind myself to remember to bring my students back with a song instead of yelling or clapping at them angrily. They are only 6 and do what 6 year olds do.  I have high expectations but I need to remember to keep them reasonable.

I have had to remind myself to whisper gently to kids who need help listening or move them kindly towards me instead of calling them out.  It keeps their dignity and keeps it calm.

I have to remember to keep digging deep with what my kids are learning in math, reading, writing and help them create thoughtfully and authentically instead of rushing through a set of skills.

I have to remember that I can get to all the things I think I "have" to do at home.  There is always time. I just need to trust.

I am very much looking forward to the upcoming break.  We are headed to stay with my brother in Florida where we can slow down, feel the warm air, read what we want to read, walk on the sand and just be. I will be eating it all up!


elsie said...

Spring breaks are so needed to rejuvenate the brain, heart and soul. I loved your reminders to yourself, they are only six years old. Good reminders for all, not just those working with little ones.

Kelli Traber said...

I loved how you remind us as teachers to really listen. I find that once I listen to the kiddoes (and I mean, REALLY LISTEN), they tell me exactly what I need to teach. I love your perspective on your kiddoes being 6 and doing what 6 year olds do. Would love my son to be in your class!

Michelle said...

Your words are speaking to me loud and clear! I love this and I hope you don't mind, but I'll be sharing it with a few friends. Just perfectly stated. Thank you for your words.

Deb Day said...

Slow down. Rejuvenate. Listen. Great words to remember in the last quarter of school. Thanks for the reminder!

Carol said...

Loved this post. Such important truths. I especially love your line that your kids are six year olds and they do what six year olds do. True of my nine and ten year olds too. And so hard to remember in the midst of state tests, when they are being asked questions that some adults couldn't answer. t think it's Eve Merriam who has that poem that "it takes a lot of slow to grow" and I think that is so, so, so, true. Thanks for these important reminders. And have BIG FUN on the beach!

josie said...

I can taste it too! What a great quote from your ever smart boys! Katie, this is such a powerful piece. They are six, we have high expectations but they are expectations on what is important in learning - that digging deep and really thinking about their learning. Those 6 year olds are so very lucky to be with you. Thank you for all you do.

Today’s Joy said...

Katie--This post is so true and so beautifully written. Thank you for reminding me to slow down for what's important and not get so overwhelmed with all the other "stuff". I agree with you. Love your son's line--about tasting Spring Break. I agree--a much needed break coming very soon.
Miss you!

Karen said...

Love the line about slowing down and listening. How easy it is to forget that important part of our job.
So looking forward to spring break next week. Enjoy your time to relax and rejuvenate.

Joey said...

Mom could not have said it better myself. O wait I did say it.