2/3/14

Getting to know you

We've been working on opinion writing in my first grade class. It's been going very well, but I think a huge part of the reason it's going so well is that I've been working on letting the kids feel what Debbie Miller calls "the luscious feeling of endless time".  It matters to me that kids don't feel the pressure of scores and benchmarks. They can know they are there, but I don't want them to feel they are being hurried all the time.

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.

17 comments:

  1. Love. love, love this post. Trust. Time. Space. Acceptance.

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    1. You are in my heart and my mind when I write my posts. The joy I saw on your face during your travels helped me see that my joy matters. This helps me see my class this year in a whole new light.

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  2. Love this, Kimberley, and bravo to you for sharing time with your kids. It's so true that everyone is always in a hurry, and for what? Childhood is precious. It may be the only time in life when you don't have to hurry - at least you shouldn't have to. Stop and smell the roses - that's what it's all about - and those moments like you mentioned when the child sitting next to you can appreciate it. This post is a good one! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Susanna. I feel like you live this so much. The time and patience that you give other writers through your blog is that gift that I'm talking about.

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  3. Slowing down is good. While my husband is always rushing me out the door, ironically I think I'm the one who races through through the rest of life...except when I'm with OWL. Kids give you that magic.

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    1. How could you not want to slow time down with OWL?

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  4. Thank you for the reminder. I guarantee those words will be spoken by my own little girls. I need to try to work on that now.
    Em
    curious firsties

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  5. I love the idea of slowing down! I feel like I am constantly rushing around and rushing those around me.

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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  6. So true! And I love the story about your student's comments-how cute! People in other jobs don't know what they are missing-what a life we lead, to be part of a classroom community. :)

    NotJustChild'sPlay

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  7. What a perfect reminder for me as it looks like we will have our 7th snow day tomorrow. I have to keep telling myself that its okay if we don't get through all the activities I planned. It is so much more important to slow down and give the kids time and space.

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    1. The activities aren't important and think of how joyous each snow day can be for those kids. I had one today with my 6 and 8 year old. We sang and played and watched tv in our pajamas and played in the snow and ate Dunkin Donuts. What we do in the classroom is good, but it can't compare with luxurious time with moms.

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  8. Yesterday I got a new student. He is very sweet, and smart. In the middle of the afternoon he said, "Mrs. Bartel, you talk really fast." That stopped me in my tracks. Thanks for this reminder, I don't want to be the hurry up teacher, but mostly I am.

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    1. I talk really fast AND really loudly. I have to stop myself and remember that kids need calm and quiet too. You and I have a LOT in common.

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  9. Bravo Kimberley!!! Another reason why I love and appreciate the opportunity to learn and teach with you.

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    1. You bring joy to every child who knows you. You are a special person. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  10. This is good, very very good. I know I'm guilty of rushing. Breathe.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    1. Breathe indeed. Thanks for coming on over and sharing.

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