What I Learned Today
My name is Shivonne Lewis-Young and I teach grade 3 at Massey Street Public School. I love the 3C’s – coffee, chocolate and my children.
I am in my eleventh year of teaching. I’ve felt very fortunate to have a variety of teaching experiences from Kindergarten including pre and post FDK, combined grades, 1-3 and ESL where I supported grade 1-5. In my eleven years I have never taught the exact same grade 2 years in a row. I’ve always wondered how colleagues taught the same grade year after year and wondered how they were not bored. I almost did with FDK. I started the year but left in February to go on leave with my second child. So I am quite use to change and understand that naturally each school year would look quite different from the rest.
I was assigned grade 3 again for this year I assumed that things were not going to be that different. My start-up would follow the same path, the read aloud I chose (Judy Moody) would be well received again. My subtle hints toward Genius Hour would elicit a lot of excitement again. Co-creating classroom guidelines and posters for around the room would bring cheers. However I have learned that my assumptions are wrong. I guess that’s why they say assumptions are dangerous. Honestly this group of students could not be any more different that my previous group. I need to change my game plan. Sadly I might have to abandon Judy Moody as my class read aloud they are very visual and love when I read picture books. They are skeptical with my approach that “something exciting is coming” for Genius Hour so I think I may need to give them some great visual clues. We are doing a school wide Dot Day and Global Cardboard Challenge and I know this will hook them.
I have also learned that what hasn’t changed is their natural curiosity about things. They have many “how” “why” type questions so I need to launch our Wonder Wall next week. They want to know that I care about and respect them so keeping a positive, proactive approach to not so positive situations is they way to handle things. I know that I need to establish routines and expectations but let their voices be heard as well. We have 184 days remaining together. We have just started our journey together but I know that it will be quick. Before I know it will be the last day in June and I will be reflecting on the great things that happened this year.
So what did I learn today? Even if you are teaching the same grade, year after year, it is certainly not boring and changing up your game plan to suit the needs of your students is the key to a successful year.