Thursday, January 9, 2020

Consider the opposite

As I worked to plan and prepare for the changes I wanted in my classroom, I started a list.  That list is now dangerous!

The list began as a way to track the changes I wanted to consider.  As I added items to the list, I wrote down a few that surprised me!  Do I really want to consider adding, "snack time - anytime?"  Do I really want to consider, "Shoes OFF - Anytime?"

The list also included somethings that I might need to reconsider.  Way back in the 19XX's, I quit Accelerated Reader and Spelling tests.  Should I give them another chance?

There are also certain things that I can't seem to muster up the courage to reconsider.  For example, basal readers in 4th grade have been poor instructional resources for as long as I have been a teacher.  Too many kids simply can't read it.  It goes against the work of so many literacy experts.  I have never heard a class full of students say, "I can't wait to get back into my textbook!"  Perhaps it is not courage that keeps me from adding the textbook to my Reconsider List.  Some things really do need to be left off my list forever.

As teachers, we are regularly told what needs to happen in our classrooms and within our job descriptions.  We also get varying amounts of liberty to change things as we see fit.  As we all know, there are numerous procedures and processes in our classroom that we plan and implement.  Many of these things are seemingly written in stone because we have done them a certain way for so long or we whole-heartedly believe we do it the best possible way.

After awhile, we may simply continue with the same thing because it works.  Why change something that works!  We have enough to do!

What can I learn by considering the opposite?  I am in the process of noticing when kids moan, groan, or roll their eyes about something.  When I see it, I write it on my list of things to consider the opposite.  I wonder what I'll learn from such things???

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