One of my kids said she liked my outfit today…after which I heard this commentary from the other side of the room: “Yes. That’s my favorite from the Peterson Collection.”
Every other day in Intermediate, I’m without my co-teacher. I get nervous every time that something might happen in those two hours. Yes, some kids are in that class because they truly just need to take math a little slower and chew on the material a bit more–no problem. But many are there because of their attitudes towards school, towards life, towards math, or what have you.
They are not always pleasant people, I’ll be honest.
My co-teacher’s and my goal is to encourage them to be pleasant people…at least for one hour of the day.
It’s not an easy task: we have to care more than they do.
Today was a day without Ali, which meant answering questions as well as checking work quickly became a three-ring circus, as is usually the case. I started asking the students who had finished the assignment if they would help those around them. I realize this seems like a normal thing to ask, but in these classes–this early in the school year–one must be very careful what she asks of her students. Many can carry the attitude of “I already know how to do this, why should I spend my time doing more of it just to help someone I don’t even know?”
Well…because you’re helping someone else.
But the way my kids responded was not aggressively at all; it was quite magical. Everyone I assigned to help, did so willingly. Students started being more comfortable asking each other for help. The class ran about as smoothly as it could with only one adult.
It’s just a very big deal that these babies are willing to work with each other already…that they’re willing to help one another and get help from each other.
Today they were mostly all very pleasant. And that’s a relief. And a very good thing.