Last week of instruction. Bittersweet.
Feel like I still have so much to give them but they must move on...and I have to move on as well.
Talking all that sh’t about not missing them but I know I will. They are my family.
If I had time, I would write a poem where I list all of the annoying phrases that got on my nerves. Tell stories that end with the unexpected life changing lessons they each
I will make time.
Not just for my reflective pleasure but for their growth.
My poem will be a love letter...writing personal notes is one of my favorite forms of providing feedback to them. That type of writing is a challenge for me, it prompts me to be compassionate, intentional, and non-judgemental with my words. I rise at this thoughtfulness-challenge because the kids grow from it. But sometimes, that letter is the only thing I can get them to read, all year, at the end of the year. I need to take time to write them way more, even if only for specific students who need ongoing communication.
This year, I have had to relearn: chuldren read way more carefully and reflectively when the writing is about them—that was a relevant trend that I noticed, this year: Culturally-relevant text matters.
So I need to write more about/to them.
My biggest regret is how much time I spent trying to follow the curriculum this year but I won’t lament. Next year, I am just going to have to do what I know is best: suppliment the curriculum with books that they actually want to read. As a model teacher, it’s my job to show my colleagues how this can be done without sacrificing the content that we are mandated to teach. It’s a lot of work. And I’ve heard so many people say, kids need to get used to reading boring books because that’s life but I say not in my classroom, ever again. I lose my students when I don’t choose to put their needs first. I am not working this hard to lose. No way. I just have to provide data to prove that this works and for that, I have time. Infinite.
*Gloria Ladson Billings is the researcher who developed the term “culturally-relevant teaching.” All due respect to the OG.