For eight weeks we have been having a grand time exploring ancient civilizations, E.B. White, Geography, paragraph writing, sensory details, Chinese language and characters, factors, multiples, variables, and equations. Specials classes in science, Spanish, art, PE, music, and chorus have been incredibly exciting and wonderful. We just had conferences and many parents talked about how their students are feeling engaged, challenged and resilient.
Which is exactly where we want them.
But now that they are there, we need to slow down a bit.
There are a few signs indicating this. The first is an unfinished project that several children need more time on to finish. Many children were finished two weeks ago, but a few want to do their most careful and thoughtful work, and we have not had time for them to be as deliberate as they would like. School should have time for careful work.
Another sign is a geography writing project that now needs a consistent amount of time allowing for individual conferences and writing instruction. The part where we teach them all together is ending and the most important part, where students receive assistance and feedback designed just for them, is beginning. School should have time for differentiation and individual instruction and feedback.
School should have time and sometimes it feel like there just isn't time. But we teachers sometimes make the beds we lie in. When the signs start appearing, it is time to pull back, stop planning for the "next" thing, and support the thing that is happening right now. It's too easy to get caught up in all that is to come, all that we have to do before the end of the year or the start of the break or the date of the test. The children would like to live in the moment a little to enjoy and remember their work. It will be nice for us to do that too.