Monday, August 26, 2013

About Students - Different Looks



Ruth and Stacey host this Tuesday Slice of Life on their blog, Two Writing Teachers, creating a wonderful writing community.  Hope you can join us, or at least come visit to read.  

       At my school, the core teachers have conferences with parents and students before school begins.  Before that, they’ve written letters to both, and received replies.  Both these things help teachers begin to understand their students, or to re-connect with those they’ve already had the previous year, well ahead of the first day of school.  I did this for years and by the end of Monday (students come Wednesday) my mind was swirling with information.  After all that, there is one more day and then WEDNESDAY.

       Although I already knew so much about my students, after Wednesday, there would be more added, important details filed away for contemplation, at least those that will help me plan for activities, certain social conversations, kinds of challenges, etc.  I realize that first impressions are not always correct, but teachers intuit certain things about their students, they are able to build upon that in order to enhance or to divert from it.



After Wednesday, I would know…
        Who were joining groups but might want other options.  Both boys and girls are sometimes ‘grabbed’ by a group and brought along into the classroom, but I could tell they were reluctant, just too shy to pull away.

After Wednesday, I would know…
         Those who are anxious about the social whirl.  They enter alone, find a seat as much away from everyone as possible, and settle in quiet as little mice.  If they could disappear into the cracks, they would. 

After Wednesday, I would know…
         Who needs my attention a lot!  They come and chat often, all throughout the day.  They ask if I need anything, how they can help.  They are eager and friendly and like hugs.  Well, every single student needs a hug, but some are more challenging to get to than others.

After Wednesday, I would know…
          Those who are organized and immediately ready to go, those who don’t take care of their own stuff, those who leave a trail.

After Wednesday, I would know…
          Who might need to sit nearby in order to hear directions well, and who could use a little notepad in order to write directions down.

After Wednesday, I would know…
           Who doesn’t get enough sleep. And, perhaps connected, who could use a drink of water (break).

After Wednesday, I would know…
           Who needs a friend, who is okay alone for a while, and who needs to be separated from the friends. 

After Wednesday, I would know…
          
           Each girl or boy a little more, that each one has a part of my heart already. 

What would you add?  I know there's more!


photo credit: Old Shoe Woman via photopin cc

28 comments:

  1. Wonderful post Linda! I was able to envision several students for each line! I can't wait to start!

    I would add: After Wednesday, I would know...Who was a leader, who wanted to lead, who wanted to be led and who had not yet made up their minds.

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    1. Thanks, Max, good additions too. So much information appears on that first day!

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  2. After Wednesday, I would know that you are excited to be with your kids and knowing that they had you at hello inspires many others to focus on why we do what we do as educators-kids first! Hope you have a wonderful school year Linda!

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    1. Thank you, Amy! It's time to stop prepping and have those students isn't it? That is certainly what it's all about!

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  3. I like how you organized this, repeating the different things you'll learn about each child. I think it builds the suspense and excitement as we eagerly wait for Wednesday with you!

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    1. Thank you, Jen. I appreciate the response!

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  4. Look at those faces!!! Now I am even more anxious to begin! I love the way you structured this, and the way you recognize the unfolding process that marks our knowing. But, I think that knowing comes from this: "each one has a part of my heart already." That's really the beginning, isn't it?!

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    1. Yes, you're right, of course. Knowing all the rest just helps us think and wield the class together for each one's benefit. Thanks, Tara!

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  5. I was always nervous at the beginning of school, but after that first day, I would know we would have a great year and this class was on its way to being a community of learners. Happy first day tomorrow!

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    1. I think the nerves means you were a very good teacher, Elsie-wanting every minute to go just right! Thank you for the wishes!

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  6. I like how you structured the text, but most of all I like how you think and care about your students. After the first two days I have found out some things my students care about. I believe that we are going to have a great year!

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    1. Happy to hear how it's going, Terje! We're still here, getting ready-so exciting! Thank you!

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  7. After Wednesday, you will be ready to start a new chapter of the book you have just cracked open with eager new faces. PS I love the structure of this poem. It would be great to use with kids!!!!!!!!

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    1. Anita what a marvelous idea! I will share to see if I can get a colleague to have his kids write what they 'know' after Wednesday! Yes, we'll all excited, time to begin!! Thanks!

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  8. I love the structure of your poem...I'm in the middle of this right now. 10 days in and I'm learning new things about my kids every day.

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    1. It's a time so filled with information, isn't it? We are really ready to have those students be at school! It's been hot again, so this week might be a little warm for everyone outside. We'll see how it goes!

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  9. This post shows how open your heart is to those of your students. Happy Wednesday! Happy year!

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  10. After Wednesday (or Tuesday for me) I would know which students know how to tie a tie! Your students are blessed to have you!

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    1. Now you've got my curiosity, Jaana-I wonder why a tie-uniforms? Hope your start was good!

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  11. Linda, your love for your students just shines in this post. I love how observant you are and knowing who will need what. Have a great year!

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    1. Thanks Deb. It's exciting to hear from so many about their plans!

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  12. Such a lovely list, Linda! Your huge heart for students really shines in this slice! You've captured all the important little ways teachers get to know their students in order to build those special relationships. This is exactly why you are such a gift to our slicing community too -- you always make me feel that you know and care about me by remembering and noticing little details!

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    1. Hi Jennifer, exciting time, isn't it? I appreciate your compliments. One reason I think I notice is that I wanted my students to notice too. We talked a lot through the years about details, for writing and sketching, for seeing how people felt, etc. It is a habit!

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  13. What a fun post! Lucky students to have you for a teacher. And after next Tuesday, I will know so much more about my new students. I love the tidbits I'm learning about each one already. It's a fun process, and I'm looking forward to greeting my new students at the door to check their middle school meters from day one.

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    1. Oh, I like that term, 'middle school meters'. That's exactly what we have to do, isn't it? Thanks Ramona. Hope you have a wonderful beginning of the year!

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  14. Thinking of that kid who leaves a trail... I might know a kid like that. :) Chiming in with everyone to say how much I like the structure here and all the ways you can use it.. hope your Wednesday was a great day! xo

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    1. It was a lovely day, Irene. Yes, I have a daughter who is a trail maker, but one of the most creative people I know. Everyone to their own path, right? Thank you!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!