This is going to be another short blog post because I have a huge stack of report cards to proofread tonight (168 pages! 6 per student but luckily I only have to proofread 3 per student). But I wanted to write something about today.
Today started out really well. My students were almost all reading or writing in their journals (there were the few usual who were staring off into space) and it was quiet and they were (almost all) working. So I started off asking how their day went yesterday and I talked about how long I was at school writing report cards and marking tests but that I still wasn’t done. One of my kids piped up with the idea that I could work on them while they read silently. So sweet. Today is my day with no prep and then drama after school. We went down to the book fair during our usual silent reading time so this afternoon right after lunch I gave them about half an hour to read and I sat down and worked on report cards, something I almost never do.
I always feel like I need to be teaching. With Intensive French, I do need to be always teaching. There is no independent time for them to work where they don’t need me constantly during Intensive French. And during math, even if they’re working on text book work or problems or whatever, I’m constantly walking around, observing, helping, coaching, and reminding students to get focused on their work. Even during silent reading I generally read with students or help them find books, though sometimes I do “model” what silent reading should look like and I pick up a book for myself. But I don’t normally do paperwork other than attendance during class time. So it was a bit different, but nice, that my students understood that report card writing is not easy. They understand, because I told them, that it’s not my favourite thing to do but it’s part of my job so I do it (just like sometimes they have to do things as students that they don’t care for) and they got that it’s hard for me to find time to do these things and so they read very well independently today for a little longer than usual.
I also had put up on the white board a general list of things that they could do when finished their work during class time. A few of my students took it upon themselves to write it up as a poster and stapled it up on the wall. I have a very helpful group and I’m getting better at letting them help out in ways that I can sometimes be pretty control freakish about. Sometimes that doesn’t work out as well as I’d liked (giant piles of books all over the floor!) but I’m letting some students who want to stay in and do things like organize the art into the art folders, tidy the desks and the floors, organize the books, organize the art supplies, when normally I would shoo them out the door so I could have some time to myself. It’s working out well. I also asked them to move the desks and chairs for drama club after school. They did that, and then moved the desks and chairs back at the end of the day. There are some things about having a bigger class that are good I guess. Now to go proofread all these report cards!