You made it- it is FRI-YAY!!!! In all reality, it is the end of a week and it is time to kick back and relax. BUT, it is also time to celebrate the beginning of a new week. New opportunity and new experiences. Yes you have to succumb to the alarm clock and a little more rigidity- but you also get to welcome another week of learning, growing, and experience.
I know that it is still a lot more fun to have a weekend- but I am trying to reframe Monday for you.
Something to think about as Monday returns, and you hit the floor running.
NOTICE I was at a yoga class recently and the instructor started the class with 'This is the practice of noticing'. How relevant for the practice of yoga, but also for the practice of teaching. Noticing- being cognizant, being aware, watching, paying attention, and reflecting on your visual observations.
Noticing what is happening with your class as a group, as part of group, and as individuals is key in developing strong class management skills. Unless you can articulate what is not working very well, you cannot make it work better.
For example, transition times are a make it or break it time for many kiddos. When transitioning from one place to another, we tend to see more distractibility and a higher level of inappropriate behaviours. Kids often walk (or run) into the classroom and start to play with whatever catches their eye or chit chat with their buddies loudly, right? We tell our kiddos what to do, what we expect, and what happens when they don't do this....but it does not always (or often) seem to work.......sound familiar? What if you stepped back and took an opportunity to NOTICE. Notice your line:
- Are they close together? or is the line spread out? - Are students walking with their hands by their side? Or are their hands flying around? - Are kiddos touching? - Are they stopping? What is happening in the line? - Do they stop at the door of the entry room? Or do they walk in?
Notice what your students are doing with your current expectations? Notice what is working? But also, notice what is not working.
Why do some things work well while other things tend to go south? I bet you will be able to pin point a few things you can change to strengthen your transitions (or another area) just by stepping back. Identify what you want to improve and notice what is happening now. These two pieces of information will help you strengthen your practice.
Noticing your practice and how it affects the management of your class is a foundational skill for teachers. It is okay to step back, it is okay to take time to reflect, to try, and to reflect some more. All this 'trial and error' will develop your classroom management, your confidence, and your ability to support ALL learners to function within a community.
I challenge you to take Monday as your day of noticing. Push your curriculum and your paperwork off to the side for the day- step back and notice. Notice how your students react to your expectations, your directions, and your lessons. See if you can pinpoint a few things that are working well (I am sure there are lots), but also a few areas that could get stronger.
The practice of notice is something all teachers should add into their practice.