When Slow And Easy Comes Into Play

From The Desk Of The Retired teacher

Subbing for this year, done! On summer break. What will be for next year as far as substitute teaching, unknown; but reflecting never far for me, so, here goes.

Thinking about looking forward for kids who will be back at school before we know it. Do we look at our students’ progress or where Common Core Standards say they should be at in each grade level? In the early years do we focus on DAP , before standards that define what’s next in the teaching trajectory? Do we hold fast to curriculum guidelines or do we get to know those students; some eager, some unsure but all who have their own stories to share.

This is where Slow and easy comes into play. Teaching kindergarten for many years, the holy grail for me stayed true to course: build those relationships first! Get to know them! Let them see who you are! Let them know you care! They are not a data point in a scale of 1 to 10!

Is that push to follow a timeline the driving force to start the year, so I can have them ready for the next? A post I wrote many years ago holds true as I reflect on the “now.” Playing devils advocate of course! Better to prepare our students to discover the joy in learning, to relish life long learning. But the worry is real and the concern rests heavily on teacher’s shoulders. We will start the year face to face, no screens, no zoom. But in many places masks are still on; some support, some oppose it. Schools make decisions with flexibility regarding masks. Hopefully Zoom School a thing of the past. I know for some students it worked . However for others, especially in kindergarten through 3rd grade (maybe higher) it was a nightmare for students, teachers and parents! Dramatic, I know, but I want to get my point across.

This year in my role as a substitute teacher I worked mainly in the four year old program (with some days in 3 year old class, kinder and 1st). From September 2021 to June 2022 I spent my days with lively, curious four and five year olds. Then I had the opportunity to work with some of these rising kindergarteners in a Summer Transition Program, where my reflections took hold and weighed heavily on my mind as I said goodbye. The growth I’ve seen in their joyful exuberant play, their curiosity, their conversations and their interest in learning and knowing may not show up in “standards” but are so clear to me!

Let’s give ourselves a chance to get to know who sits in our circle at Morning Meetings and who has heard the “singing bowl.”

#5fingermeditation #singingbowl #stilllearning

A favorite quote reminds me to be present.

I often think of this quote when the worry (in any aspects of my life) starts to overwhelm. Being present, being available and keeping it real. As we start back to school my hope is that this year continues to bring us the joy, the passion and commitment that teaching keeps us coming back.

If there are any questions or comments you might want to share, I’m here to continue the conversation.

Stay well friends.

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2 Responses to When Slow And Easy Comes Into Play

  1. Pingback: Affording Ourselves Professional Space & Grace In Challenging Times – Literacy Lenses

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