“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage that means “Man plans, and God laughs.” September is a month filled with the best intentions, that’s for sure. My new teaching partner and I sat together in early September to look through the curriculum documents and think about what our focus and goals would be for September.
It looked great until about a week ago. We would chat after each day and think about what needed to be changed in the environment. We swapped materials out in the building centre because we noticed the children were getting bored with them, we added a dramatic play center and a home center with babies. Reflecting and being intentional with the learning environment is important AND necessary. But deep down, I was wondering about the children. Were they learning what they needed to learn to be successful and feel good about school?
I wasn’t sure.
Had the children learned that they were safe in school?
Had they learned that adults in the school could be trusted, including us, their teachers?
Had they learned how to play with others?
Had they learned the school routines and behavioural expectations?
Some had and some hadn’t. And if I had my time back, that web would look a little different. Children would be in the center. The web would look like this:
I’ve learned a few important things about these children these past 3 weeks:
That they care way more about knowing that I am going to be there for them than whether or not they have their shoes on the wrong feet.
That some of them don’t know how to make friends or play with others and that they need all my love and support while learning those things.
That they’ve just been struggling through the day on most days to cope with all of the new stresses that starting school brings and they’ve felt relief when we’ve empathized with them by reading books about starting school, managing big emotions, and playing with others. Or when we’ve taken a moment to just be with them, and only them.
You know the saying, “You’ve got to slow down to speed up.” I really should have slowed down more these past few weeks. Lots of learning happened, but not all the learning I had hoped for.
Bill Gates has said something along the same line,” Only through focus can you do world-class things, no matter how capable you are. My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.”
So, this week, I’m going to try to focus in on the few things in my new much smaller plan for the rest of September.
Cause I’m planning for a world-class kindergarten year for these children.
Dedicated teacher for the past 18 years. Lifelong learner. Newbie blogger. Follow me on Twitter @Baker1973Cathy