It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve noticed that when I have a good day I’m less likely to feel like writing about it. But then it seems like all I face are challenges. That is not the case.
Last week was only a two day week with kids and both days were pretty good. On Tuesday all 6 students who were there earned the super hero level! Yes, it might be like seeing a blue moon but at least I can say I’ve seen one. 😊
I also had parent/teacher conferences last week and overall those went well. I met with 4 of the 10 families I work with and I felt like we had some good conversations.
The most glorious part of last week was having two days to focus on lesson planning! With that time I was able to look through curricula, start to figure out things about it I probably should have known on day one, and plan for this week and next. On top of that, next week is a three day week with kids so again I will have time to lesson plan for most of November (I hope).
And then this morning I followed through with my plan to teach Core Practice. Core Practice is the mindful breathing part of the MindUP curriculum and I’ve put off teaching it because honestly I didn’t think we could pull it off. But this morning I sat down with the group after they had been having some challenges with listening and following directions. I was a bit upset and I let them know it. We talked a bit about how we earn the super hero level and how we end up in a sticky situation. And then I reminded them that I had said I would bring an instrument today that would help us with our breathing.
I took my chime out of its box and rang it one time for them. In the book it says to let them all take turns ringing it themselves which when I read that I thought, well, not with my kids. But I did it today. I let each one take a turn tapping the chime as I held it. And they were all gentle. Then I prompted them to rest their hands on their knees and close their eyes. I told them I would ring the chime and we would all stay as quiet as we could and listen until we couldn’t hear the chime anymore. We then opened our eyes and talked about how we felt. And the answers came back, “relaxed” and “calm”. Then we rang the chime again but this time we focused on our breathing until I rang it one more time to signal Core Practice being finished. When we opened our eyes they immediately were asking to do it again. I really couldn’t believe it. So we did it again and this time there was some laughing while we did it but when we were done I told them it was important to stay quiet duringour breathing so we could listen to the chime and calm our bodies. We then read The Busy Body Book and talked about our bones, muscles, blood, nerves and other super interesting parts of our bodies.
As we sat and read the book and I asked questions about the body I was amazed that one of my students who always seems to be struggling and is rarely with the group knew all of the answers. I guess it goes to show you (or me) that learning is happening even when I feel like it is absolutely not happening.
So maybe this afternoon when I was trying desperately to teach a reading lesson amongst distraction and chaos and I found myself saying “I’m trying to teach you to read! You need to be able to read to get a job! You need a job if you want money!”…maybe they were still learning something. Maybe.