We are finally getting into the swing of things by working on some actual Language Arts content and setting up classroom routines.
This week we accomplished not one but two writing practices. These will be a weekly thing, every Monday if all goes according to plan--but let's face it, plans often change--. We are using these particular writing practices to explore potential stories for our upcoming narrative assignment. We explored moments and memories from our own lives this week, and next week we will be making up some more fictionalized stories. Overall, we will have a handful of story ideas that we will be starting to draft as early as next week.
Look at that, I'm already onto next week... oops. This week... Okay, here's some more.
I am really proud of the hard work most everyone is putting into our writing. There are always going to be stragglers here and there, and those stragglers seem to change from assignment to assignment, but overall I was excited to see the hard work. If you are one of those who didn't feel like you did enough work, or you were having a hard time getting into it, don't worry, we'll try again next week. I understand that it is not always easy to put our thoughts onto paper, especially when we are afraid that our thoughts are no good, or don't make sense, or are cheesy or basic, or any number of irrational thoughts holding us back. It will be okay. Overall, what I saw this week was a lot of risk taking and challenging that fear. I am impressed.
I can't wait to see what these stories turn into.
Until next week, happy Friday the 13th, good luck...
One week down! What a week too… We had one day with a regular schedule, that was fun. The rest was a whirlwind of half days and special event schedules. But we made it happen and here we are now, ready for week two.
In the first week we spent time getting to know each other and setting some ground rules set for how we expect each other to act during class. We made social contracts in each class with 5 of our most important expectations. These are now hanging up in the classroom above the white board. I am proud of these agreements, and I look forward to the guidance they can give us when we need it the most.
Overall, this was a great first week, and I am so excited for the weeks to come. They won’t always be great. They will be tough, and challenging, and possibly unbearable at times. But we will make it through to the end better off than when we started. We will learn and grow together, change minds and have our minds changed. We will make this year the best year yet, I feel it in my bones.
We got this, and nothing will stand in our way.
Thanks again for an awesome first week,
I will mostly reserve this space for remarks on the happenings for the week, but I felt I needed to say something about the first days of school, something of a welcome back letter to you all. When I sat down to write this, the thoughts that occurred didn't really seem like the announcement I set out to write. They felt more like a reflection even though we have yet to experience anything of which we would need to reflect upon. So this is going to be what I am calling a pre-reflection based on my work during in-service week, and the upcoming school year.
I have been trying to think of something to say regarding our first week back to school. Going through the boringly normal “welcome back! I’m so glad to meet you and to work together” sameness just doesn’t feel quite right. It doesn’t seem sincere. It doesn’t seem like me. So let’s talk about what we really feel.
Maybe that too.
Can’t it be both?
I am actually really excited to be back to teach in what will become my fifth year—quite an important year if you put value into statistics. I am dreading some things as well. But let me explain what I mean by dread.
I guess dread comes off pretty negative, it being something that people normally would want to avoid, but I try to define it as being more like an overwhelming anticipation. I am anticipating our first day together in such a way that it is causing some anxiety.
Anxiety is another word that many see as a negative, but let’s see if we can look at this feeling through another lens as well. Anxiety, in my experience, is more of a fear that comes from not having control over a situation. Coming back to school is not necessarily something you can control so that makes sense, but why is that something to fear. I like to view that anxiety from a different angle until it turns into something that resembles excitement. I’m not anxious about what is about to happen, I am excited to see the possibilities!
Each of us have a filter through which we perceive this world. We understand reality through our own experiences. If we have had several bad experiences with anticipating an uncontrollable situation, we dread it. If we have mostly experienced success, we approach this same situation with lofty excitement. The hard part is noticing this pattern and willing yourself beyond it, adjusting your own filter, your own perspective, to see it with new found hope and understanding. To grasp that etch-a-sketch of dread with both hands, shake it clean, and redraw the same image with enthusiasm. It's not easy, but it can be done.
This may be getting too lofty for a first day back motivational essay, so I think I’ll tone it down and get to the point. No matter where you are coming from, a place of dread, excitement, or somewhere in between, I will meet you where you stand, shake your hand, and thank you for being here in this moment with the rest of us. We may have a long journey ahead of us, full of challenges, mistakes, and shortfalls, but we are also going to learn so much, and we will go so far from where we have started. Together.
I can’t wait.
Week in Review
This is where you can check and see a brief overview of what we have done as a class each week. My intention is to keep this up to date with happenings, assignments, trends, previews of the following week, and anything else that needs to be shared with my students and their families. I may not always get something written each week, but I will do my best to be disciplined in keeping you informed.