School Week Round-Up: Week Nineteen

We are back from winter break, which makes me happy, mostly. I’ll miss sleeping in every day, but I missed my students more!

Lessons: For the most part, students finished their activities from the week before break. In some cases, students hadn’t got to start it, because of the wifi being down and because we didn’t have school on Friday that last week.

Support: Printers start acting up for such mysterious reasons. No one ever seems to witness the actual moment that they stop working. They just seem to walk into the problem. That’s fine though. It makes me feel more like a detective when I find and solve their issues. (Aside to upstairs: the staple cartridge thing was my bad, sorry.)

Things I Did Well: 
We got back into the swing of things pretty smoothly. The classroom feels almost as comfortable to me as my home does.

Things I Will Do Better: .My time management was not on point this week; I stayed at work late three nights out of four spending my time and effort in the wrong places.

Cold Prickly: Not strictly school-related, but last night my spouse got up at least five times during the night to vomit. First order of business this morning was to1325627622728677631sick20bird-svg-med go to the store and get saltines and ginger ale. The poor dear! And yet, in the back of my mind, if I catch what he’s got, I will be very unhappy about it. A coworker asked me this week if I had missed a day of work yet this school year. I have taken half-day absences scheduled around my non-teaching times to avoid relying on subs, but I haven’t taken an entire day yet this year. I have a personal day coming up soon, though. But I would hate to take a sick day before I get that personal one in!

Warm FuzzyOther side of that token, I was talking about Google Classroom with another teacher. She mentioned that the fourth and fifth grade teachers in another building barely leave any lesson plans anymore, because they can put their lessons on Google Classroom where students access it directly. By now, all my students, even my first graders, are accustomed to the routine of logging in and accessing the day’s activity on Google Classroom. Plus, I can schedule lessons to post at just the right times. So, if I do catch my spouse’s sickness, I don’t think I’ll need to stress as much as I used to over my sub lesson plans.

Little Grownups

They aren’t, but sometimes it helps me to think of my students as little grownups. Specifically, I think of them as coworkers.

It has nothing to do with them, themselves, and everything to do with how I perceive and treat them.

I wouldn’t want my coworkers to ask me if they needed a tissue.

I wouldn’t force my coworkers to sit still for twenty minute stretches (or longer!).

I wouldn’t want my coworkers to be accustomed to my policing their bathroom use.

I would have a hard time justifying a task to another adult if they didn’t want to do it and I didn’t see the point in doing it myself.

Kids aren’t adults. But they will be one day. So, yes, they need basic social skills, and they have to go through motions like waiting in lines because those things won’t go away when they grow up. But there are some things I can justify to students: “We walk this way in the hall because another group of students is going the opposite direction, and we don’t want to have a traffic jam.” And there are some things that I can’t: “You don’t have to ask me if you need a tissue” is probably the biggest of those. (I did once have a coworker say to me, “That student just got up and got a tissue without asking? Who does she think she is?!” and I was just like, “Uh, someone with a runny nose?”)

I have fallen into the trap before, where I get so used to dealing with so many kids that I stop treating them with mutual humanity, and the relationship becomes more like one between a border collie and a flock of sheep instead. Have you ever watched a border collie in action? I don’t have that kind of energy! I prefer to remind myself that I am human, and so are my students. They can sometimes be little grownups in my eyes, and I can be a giant kid in theirs; it doesn’t mean we have any less to learn from each other. And if I really need to bend them to my will, I don’t need to force it. I can treat them as equals, and ask.