Skip to main content

New Habits in the Making

Today is the second day of a ten-day break. I don’t go back to school until Feb. 10th, so I’ve had time to read and write a lot. This always leads me to reflect about teaching and life in general. I start to think about what I can improve, both on a personal and a professional level, and make plans to implement those changes. So, here’s a list of the changes that I want to make, in no particular order. 

(1) Big confession: I don’t look forward to recess duty. Usually I stand in one spot during the 20 minute lunch recess, look around to make sure everything is OK, and then go back to being annoyed at having to do recess duty. Not fun! It bears mentioning that there are at least three teacher assistants on duty as well, so the kids are adequately supervised. This is a golden opportunity to observe the kids in a more natural environment: at play with their friends. So, instead I will walk around the field and engage in conversations with as many kids as possible.  When I take the time to observe students from a closer angle, I get a sense of how they interact with each other, who may not have someone to play with, and where the trouble spots are. As a fifth grade teacher, this is also a good opportunity for me to get to know the third and fourth graders, some of whom will be my students in the near future.

(2) When I find myself on the verge of saying or doing something I might regret later, I am going to take a deep breath and take a step back from the situation before reacting or responding in any way. This is so hard for me! I am realizing that I am impulsive and I “lose” it more often than I’d like to admit, which makes things worse not better. This is a huge challenge for me, but I will feel so good once I develop this new habit.

(3) When I read a blog, I will leave a response in the comments section. I’ve tried committing to this in the past, but I haven’t been very successful. I want people to respond to my posts so it seems only right that I do this for others. Reminding myself of the learning that happens when a conversation gets started on a blog will help me to do this.  

(4) I will not take on any new books to review for MiddleWeb until I finish the ones I have. This one is also hard for me because it takes so long for books to get to Ecuador that I want to make sure I have a book waiting to be reviewed at all times. However, that isn't fair to the author since I end up stockpiling books because I can only write one book review at a time. I might be sitting on a book that another reviewer might get to right away. I love getting new books, so this is definitely a hard change for me to implement.


I am excited about making these changes. They may seem small or inconsequential, but I know they will make a difference in my attitude and well-being. 

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Reading Strategies Book - Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations – Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension

The strategy lessons highlighted in Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations – Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension, in The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo are critical to students’ engagement and comprehension, as well as their ability to write literary essays, or even book reviews, summaries and reflective pieces about books. If students aren’t able to talk about books in a way that is invigorating and joyful, they will be less likely to develop an interest in growing ideas for writing about books.
In her introduction to this chapter, Jennifer Serravallo, reminds us that when conversations go well, children are inspired by what they read and are motivated to keep reading. However, when conversations fall flat, then kids get bored and tune out. How do we avoid this situation and teach kids to have focused conversations about books? The answer is easy: teach kids strategies to help them develop effective conversational skills. 

As in other blog posts a…

Saying Goodbye

I can't get used to saying goodbye to my daughters even though we've been doing it for the past 10 years. You'd think it gets easier, but it doesn't. It still feels like the first time.

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.*
At the airport, I watch families with their young children and try to remember what it was like when my girls were little. What I felt like. What I was doing at the time. What we weren't doing. Was I even aware of the passage of time?

When my kids were little I lived so much in the moment that there was no time to reflect on the fact that our time as a family was measured. Sooner than we were ready, we would have to let them go. Send them on their way. Wish them an abundance of everything, but especially of love, health and joy. 

They come through you, but not from you.* 
I nod and smile, a li…

Partner Reading and Content, Too Routine (PRC2)

I'm a hoarder.
There, I've said it.
I try to deny that I'm a hoarder but it comes back to haunt me every time I move houses, or pack up my classroom at the end of the school year.
I have old articles, lesson plans, handouts, folders brimming with teaching ideas, past issues of profesional journals. I hardly throw anything out though I've learned to be more selective over the years. My one rule of thumb, and I really try to stick to this, is that if I haven't used or referred to something in a year, then it's time to toss it into the recycle bin. One exception to this rule (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) is past issues of journals from professional organizations. However, with the ability to locate articles online through my professional memberships, even this exception is becoming less and less useful, which brings me to the topic of this blog post.
I am currently reading a copy of The Reading Teacher from 2010. I've clipped a couple of informat…