Friday, December 7, 2012

Year 3: Week 13 – The Roses

Right now I’m in one of the most stressful times of the school year. I’m preparing for my 3rd and 5th graders holiday presentation and helping organize the middle school and high school choral concert. At the exact time when I need my kids to really focus in, they start becoming distracted by the upcoming Holidays. Also, there’s the general insanity that surrounds the Holiday season that inevitably seeps into my work life.

During these times it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses. Teachers are trained to be reflective and to constantly be thinking, “what could I have done better?” We place high expectations on our students even though we know sometimes that they will not reach them and other times we take far too much responsibility for the way our students learn and behave.

With all of that twirling around in our brains, it’s easy forget to take time to savor the seemingly insignificant, but meaningful moments that make all the stress and the craziness worth it.

These are moments when students want to tell you something about their lives. Like when a fourth grader stopped me in the hallway to tell me how she injured her foot earlier in the week during gymnastic practices.

These are the moments when students relax. Like this morning, when my 8th grade band students while playing a card game during some free time at the end of a band class stopped trying to be cool and were just themselves.

These are the moments when students feel a sense of accomplishment. Like when my 3rd grade students sang the two parts of a partner song at the same time for the first time.

The tricky thing is that so often we are thinking about the next part of the lesson or the next class that we don’t slow down and really savor the time we have with our students. If we want our students to cherish their learning and to have meaningful experiences in our classrooms, then we need to have those moments as well and truly be with our students in the present.

The school year goes by so quickly and if we don’t stop to really enjoy and appreciate these moments, we lose sight of our goals and the point of our jobs. It’s exactly the times when the stress is the highest when we need to help create these moments for our students and ourselves.

Take your time and smell the roses. The papers will get graded and not everything on your lesson plan must be covered. Your kids are worth the extra time and so are you.

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