Not As Brave As the Rest of You...
While so many of you seem to have been diving headlong into the adventure of putting our amazing summer experiences into practice in the classroom, I've had far more... trepidation... in my attempts.
But I have found, to my amazement, that a seemingly slight thing -- a baby step, really -- has already made a huge difference in all of my classes.
Check-in, and check-out.
The first day the students thought it was silly. The second day, they found ways to make most of their check-in comments bad jokes and innuendos. The third day, they were really in the groove. By the fourth day, I was getting scolded if I forgot to do check-in or check-out for a particular class.
It's a ritual that my kids seem to be drawn to, and I think it has a lot to do with the power of choice -- they can tell us exactly how they are feeling, or they can choose to keep that information to themselves. It also, of course, has a lot to do with the opportunity to be listened to (something we learned this summer). I suspect a lot of my kids go through the entire day without being listened to at all.
I'm doing some other things, too -- vocal warm-ups in my speech classes, milling/seething and dictionary work for my drama classes... and I'm sure the benefits for these activities will soon be evident... but nothing has been so impressive to me as the power of this small, beautiful thing -- check-in and check-out.
I'm ready for the rest of the year. To quote my brilliant pal Neale, "I'm good to go, ready to rock and roll."