The first week of school

Today I went to our city aquarium and botanical garden to spend some time in nature. In one of the exhibits in the aquarium, I found this sign post on the wall:

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“Our past, our present and whatever remains of our future, absolutely depend on what we do now” – Sylvia Earle.

I would like to add to this quote: “Our past, our present and whatever remains of our future, absolutely depend on what we do now [in our classrooms].”

This past week was the first week in our school year. It was a whirlwind, and it felt different than other first weeks/days. My classroom felt different, I have students who need extra love and help, and others who are perfectly content, and others who seem discontented, and others who simply need. I enjoyed starting Math Daily 3 with them, it has been an exciting change to teaching math (more on that later). I always enjoy starting Daily 5 too, because building reading stamina is an exciting occurrence. I know a lot of my students don’t have the luxury of reading time at home, and I am not going to speculate on factors as to why. I love giving that time to them in class. So far we made it to 5 minutes of reading, and I enjoy hearing the groans of my students having to stop reading because they were that lost in the text. Giving my students reading freedom is one of the best things I can provide my students.

This week we also developed class rules, and I wanted to really try to let my students develop the rules based off Hopes and Dreams, however it didn’t go as well as I wanted, but our students did create a list of rules, and after consulting Teaching Children to Care I wanted to see if my students would be okay with adopting the golden rule as our one and only class rule, and they did! I am excited to see how this can impact our behavior, and improve empathy for each other. Here is our chart:img_5112

I took on a leadership role in my school as part of our program “Safe and Civil Schools” to look at school wide procedures, and our two big areas have been the cafeteria and dismissal, and we have made massive changes to both. Seeing both plans come to fruition has been a marvelous experience. Improving safety and clearing up expectations for both students and teachers has been challenging, but it has been worth it, because in that first week, I felt the positivity of our change. I can see the morale improve, and I can see how our school culture is going to shift.

Back to the quote I added to above, what we do in our classrooms and schools will affect the future. As we continue into this school year, I want to keep my eye on the future so that everything I do will lend to my students’ success in the present, and the future.

 

 

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