As we settle into the second half of the first six weeks of school, I am embarking on something nearly unthinkable. Vacation and September. They are mutually exclusive for teachers. But every once in a while, opportunity knocks and you know it will only knock once. Wow!
So in the first 15 days of school, we poured everything we had into the start-up of our classroom routines and culture. This was possible because the vast majority of my class has come through a program which embraces the Responsive Classroom approach and many elements feel familiar and allow us to build swiftly upon what they know. It also took diligence to stay true to establishing the infrastructure upon which the academic pieces will be built, so that while I am gone and when I return, we continue as planned with the program and curriculum. It was exhausting at times but immensely gratifying to see our eight- and nine-year olds working through rather abstract issues of honesty, responsibility, care, and respect as they defined hopes for the year and came to consensus on the guidelines and consequences by which we will live in our room. On top of that, I know that our guest teacher and my colleagues are supremely prepared to care for and lead our class and do so willingly and graciously. Again, wow – that is progress!
So with bags packs, lists left, and books ready for the long flight ahead (including Mike Anderson’s brand new book The Well-Balanced Teacher), I am off for a grand adventure. Wow, a huge opportunity awaits me. So, I leave you with a re-posting of a blog from this time last year, Stretching into the First Six Weeks of School.
Hope that you are both able to ease back into the start of school and stay balanced in the many roles you play!