Remember as a kid, or in my case occasionally as an adult, those episodes of Sesame Street and their theme for the show? There little vignettes would be based around the number 4 or the letter P, for example. At the end of each episode a little announcement would notify you that, “Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter P.” Well, it seemed that this week was all themed around the letter C. More specifically, staying CALM and involving myself in COLLABORATION.
I’ll touch on remaining calm very briefly. Let’s set the stage. I’ve been mentally preparing for my first observation since the timeline for this semester had been posted. Cut to the week of the observation and I was going to tell the students the day before what was going to take place and so forth. When I wake up Wednesday morning, the day before the observation, what is posted across the television screen? Shelby County Closed! Yep, a Snow Day. In my mind it was the worst thing to happen but it turned out to be the best thing to happen. Things didn’t go exactly how I had planned. In fact, I left out a really cool activity that would have had the kids up and out of their seat. However, instead of thinking and over thinking the day before, going through each step of how I wanted things to go, I had no choice but to go into the classroom Thursday morning calm and letting things flow however they would flow. It was certainly a very “teachable moment”.
Collaboration was also a central theme for me this week. In preparing for class lessons, I tried getting as much feedback from my ST and other teachers in order to be better equipped for when I am on my own in my own classroom. What I also enjoyed was being able to meet and have dinner with my fellow classmates as we discussed our anxieties, stresses, frustrations, and also the joys of this journey. It’s good to hear that someone else is struggling in the same area. Sometimes you can beat yourself up with the “I’m the only one” mentality. On the flip side, it is also great to be able to receive/give advice on how to handle a particular situation. We talk about the Think-Pair-Share strategy for our students but I think about how teachers and educators can be uplifted, or how much more diverse and effective instruction could be, if the spirit of collaboration became a priority in our schools.