My daughter Annie once asked me to stop saying, "hurry up" all the time. It stopped me in my tracks. What are we always hurrying for? Where the heck do I have to be so quickly that my child can't find her other shoe without feeling panicky? I'm still not always successful, but now I work harder to plan my time well so that my children don't feel we are always rushing around.
Today, in the interest of slowing time down, I asked the kids to sit in a circle. We went around sharing something that we liked and giving a reason why. I started by saying that I love reading because I get to change who I am after I read. the little girl next to me nudged me with her elbow and whispered, "that was a good one Mrs. Moran." It made me laugh, but I also felt really good because she thinks of me as one of them. I am in their inner community circle. I am not an outsider in my classroom. We all love each other and it shows. My students open up in ways that I know they don't get to do anywhere else.
Trust. Time. Space. and Acceptance.