It’s that time of the year when I feel the need for makeover – a classroom makeover. Sure the winter has left me with a drab complexion and my black wardrobe is feeling dreary as well, but it’s the environment in Room 25 that needs a pick-me-up. The midyear point and the return from winter recess were ideal times to review workshop expectations and routines. The conversations revealed thoughtful insight from my wise learners. Most students are well aware of the specifics and could explain our procedures to a new student or a visitor. It’s like editing; students love to make corrections to another person's writing. They can talk the talk, and walk the walk. Now they need to practice what they preach. (Hopefully, I have not butchered these expressions.)
The more urgent issue is the time we seem to be losing to excessive socializing. I say excessive because I don’t have unreasonable expectations. I value teamwork and collaboration among students. I recognize that school friendships are critical components of the daily climate in the classroom. I am not looking for silent transitions or lengthy stretches of time without verbal communications. However, I need to be stingy with our time in the classroom and maintain the rigor of our day. Tonight has me pondering some remedies. Open to suggestions, I am going to read some of my favorite pick-me-up texts. Perhaps some words of wisdom from Regie Routman, Ralph Fletcher, Katie Woodray, or Katherine Bomer. Would also love to hear from you … the Slice of Life writers, especially our Two Writing Teachers, Ruth and Stacey continue to inspire me to be a better teacher with their wise, caring words.