beginnings · decisions

Reflections on a Rough Patch

OK. So, today I experienced a rough patch with one of my classes.
It made me realize how important it is to be patient and to make measured decisions, not just occasionally but every single time.

I’m not sure how things started to get out of hand or when I started to get impatient. I was giving instructions for a school-wide writing assessment, and I thought I was being crystal clear in my directions. I was taking pride in the fact, or so I thought, that I was being pro-active by anticipating all potential confusions. Then, the questions started coming and they didn’t stop.

I watched myself getting more and more frustrated by a situation that was quickly getting out of control. And, I was left to wonder what had gone wrong.

So, here are my take-aways from today’s experience.

  1. I gave too many instructions in a short time. 
  2. It would have been more effective if I had asked the kids do a think-pair-share after giving two or three instructions.
  3. I should have started the writing assessment right away. Allowing students to read independently before the writing assessment deflected attention from writing. Although the kids will have more time to finish tomorrow, it would have been better if we had spent the entire period on the assessment.
  4. Finally, I assumed too much, which is the worst mistake I can make, especially at the beginning of a new school year. We all need to ease back into school and some kids need more time than others.

Tomorrow I will walk into my classroom and try to get it just right…again. After all, as I wrote a few days ago, there is always room for new beginnings.