There are those days when, driving home from work, I’m not really sure if it was a successful day or not. I didn’t really check anything off my to-do list; I actually laughed when my students were goofing around; I had to ring the bell more than once, several times in a row, to get students’ attention; I think I threatened consequences more than I followed through; and I didn’t check my work e-mail until right before leaving. So, what am I going to do?
I think I’m finally figuring out that it’s better:
To laugh with my students than to yell at them.
To walk among my students and see their efforts than to sit at my desk and see mine.
To have them instruct each other than to remind them to listen to me.
To look at faces when answering questions than counting down the minutes till the class ends.
To follow through once than to threaten twice.
To spend five minutes talking story than to spend fifty with disconnected eighth graders.
To give challenge to the challenging than to give labels to the misunderstood.
To embrace the victory than to dwell on the defeat.
To run my fingers through my hair and find a piece of tape that says, “We love you,” than to have every hair in place.