Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful

We don't take the time often enough to tell kids - or entire classes, or their parents - of the great things that they are doing. Or maybe I shouldn't say we - I don't do this enough. Whenever I do, it is absolutely one of the highlights of my day: whether it is feedback to kids or parents, positive news is ALWAYS fun to deliver.

Fast forward to Monday night. Having cleared the enormous hurdle of writing - giving feedback on writing is time consuming! - that got dropped into November, I finally had some time to do some more serious reflecting.

Teachers are neurotic for a lot of reasons. We always see the one kid off task, not the rest of the class that is engages. That one kid - or small group of kids - eats at us. Teach four awesome periods, but that last period of the day bombs? That's the one that sticks with you all night. I go home tired and frustrated and forget the other four great periods. That last period sticks out like a sore thumb.

Well, this year I've been really blessed with a spectacular last class of the day. (Well, my last class of the day.) My fifth period just gets it. They're on point. They help each other. On Fridays - our 20time day - they're an absolute dream: focused, on task, and excited about their projects. But most importantly for me, in this first year of being 1:1, they give me thoughtful, not whiny, actionable feedback about what they want to change about my class.

And today I got to tell them that. All of it. Especially the part about how they let me end my day on a good note. And it felt SO NICE to get to express genuine gratitude to these kids about being, well, awesome. They gave themselves an impromptu round of applause. It was a really nice way to head off into Thanksgiving break: feeling really thankful and blessed to get to end my day with such an incredible group of kids.