We worked on our class constitution this week. I explained it as our “promises to each other,” instead of “what are our rules?”
“What do we promise to each other? What do we want Kindergarten to feel like? How do we want others to treat us?” We are also talking as a school about Respect this month. How do we define Respect? How do we put Respect into action?
Making promises seemed like the most respectful thing we could do as a class community. How can we make promises that we can keep because we care about each other?
The same is in our lives as adults. What we promise to others and showing up when we say we will, and how we act are a big part of our success. They are also the truest reflection of our character and cannot be faked.
I was thinking about this a lot today, and about what my true calling is. I know it’s more than being in a classroom. I know it is working with young people and adults in the realm of education and art.
I’ve been tutoring several students privately, and even though I’ve been tutoring for over a year, I’ve started to realize how much I adore it. I always look forward to it. I get excited about it. I adore being a model for a child and their parent(s) as I guide not only their child’s academics, but also supporting their child’s study skills and behavior. They always initially seek help for academics and it ends up being so much more.
My favorite part is watching a child relax after I get there. I can feel them enjoying learning with me. There is a sweet 1:1 connection that I don’t get from any of my other teacher roles. It’s intoxicating, this caregiving role as a 1:1 tutor. The role is part counselor, businessperson, parenting coach, advocate, and master teacher. Nothing I’ve done in the last year of teaching has made me more proud. I know exactly where these students are and what they need to learn next. And I have enough experience and creativity to think quickly and change the activity when they need it.
How can I make this transfer to the classroom more? How can I develop even closer relationships with the children in my class of 20? I think I have to start conferring with them every day, and I have to teach the class why conferring is the MOST IMPORTANT THING and to value that time for themselves and others.
I was trained in Daily 5 and used it for years, but had to abandon a lot of it last year for new system. It broke my heart, because I know that it works and is the best thing to do.
So here I go. I’m bravely going to spend the next two months+ teaching Kindergarteners how to delay gratification (not getting instant attention) and how to look forward to and prepare for purposeful work.
It’s a promise I am making to my class. I want to know you more.