8:08 am- Just an ordinary day. The bell rings and students file into class. The great thing about my Tuesday morning is that I have the first prep. I have 1 hour and 30 minutes of pure work time!! I love block days. I have time to blog, grade papers, prepare for the next set of lessons and I have time to build relationships with my students.
Building relationships with 8th graders is an art which I am no expert. I tend to have the expectations of students that are not fulfilled however the students make me feel that I have set them too high. I also tend to speak my mind and not allow students to speak as freely as they would like. Case in point: Yesterday, we finished watching Disney’s “White Fang.” The students loved the movie. At the end there was information regarding the reintroduction of grey wolves into the US. I had several students speak very adamantly against the topic. The way they expressed themselves, however was very emotional and somewhat offensive. I had to stop the conversation. This was tough as the students felt that I did not value their opinion. This is an ordinary day.
Today, I set out to have a normal day, again trying to build relationships with students. I was pleased to have a one on one conversation with the same student from yesterday, however, this day was much more productive. We were able to discuss our differences and even plan a classroom debate regarding the topic.
Ordinary to me is what we do. We make mistakes, we might offend, we might not see eye to eye, but we pick up and try again the next time. We might hit the mark or we might just take a few steps closer. It is not extraordinary, it is just living and trying to make the best of it. Has it taken my 40 years to figure this out? Maybe I just keep learning from my mistakes. As I wake up every morning, have my coffee and get to school with my 1st hour prep, I realize that every day I get to try again.