So, I’ve been thinking about the conversations I had with each student back before winter break. (I explained the source of my idea here and then fleshed it out more here.) First of all, I have to give myself a pat on the back for having 19 individual conversations in about 2 weeks while everything else was going on. I didn’t get to pawn off my lunch, recess, or dismissal duties on anyone or anything like that. I just made time for each student.
It was a fun experiment. I heard a lot of interesting facts. Some of the students were thrilled from the beginning to have my undivided attention, none of that silly sharing of the teacher we have to do in class. Others were apprehensive about being on the spot and didn’t really believe that these talks were not going to be about school and work, as I claimed. And, then there were those conversations that I had to work pretty hard to get going. Finally, it was so worth it. I really got to see everyone in a little sharper focus. It forced me to pay attention to each child for that time and nothing else. I had to feign interest in a few things, but that is what we do for people we care about sometimes, right?
Well, it’s been a while now since those conversations. We are hitting the long, winter haul to spring break. It’s a time in which it is easy to get frustrated with the silly stuff-the missing homework, the talking during assessment, the interupting-all of which is just part of 5th grade. I think it’s time to have another go round. We have parent teacher conferences in early March (wow those are coming up soon, gulp). I’d love to get in another conversation with each student before then.
Last time I didn’t really talk at all about school with students. This time I might have the converstation be more school centered. I don’t want it to be negative; I do want it to be a conversation about what each student thinks he or she is doing well or in which areas he or she sees improvement. By now I think most of the students are comfortable enough to have this kind of conversation. I wish we were doing this a month or more ago.
Where does the time go?