Where did the time go?

Who has the time to accomplish all that they want to accomplish? In my dream world, I have a clean house, the laundry is folded, all my marking is done and my students are excited by the mere thought of learning. Snap! Back to reality!

The truth of the matter is my house is a disaster, I haven’t done laundry in a month, I have a pile of marking and my students…well, you get the point. Whenever I read my colleague’s blog, I wonder where he found the time to think of all the deep thoughts posted on his blog. Quoting other great educators seems to be easy for him. Thinking deep thoughts seems like a luxury when there are so many lists going through my mind. (Don’t forget the cream for Saturday’s company.) I asked my Principal during a friendly tweeting session (also a new venture for me) how he could possibly get it all done. He responded, “Priorities dear.”

I guess if I had my way, I would do everything perfectly. It stresses me out to no end when the children in my class ask when they can have free time on the computer or play a game because the class is “boring”. I want to reply, “I am sorry. Sometimes life gets in the way of me making each lesson spectacular. The baby was sick last night!” I realize that I can’t make that excuse. It is my job to be able to separate my life from my classroom.

I know, not always. Some of my most effective moments in the classroom came from transposing outside life to my lesson. My favorite math moment was a multiple step equation I set up to help me decide if I should buy a new car considering my commute. The kids cheered when I showed up with the new car after they told me that it made good financial sense. So my question to you is this: what is your favorite cross-over moment in teaching?

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aviva @grade1
    May 27, 2010 @ 13:38:16

    Wow! What a great first blog post. I hope that you continue to blog too. I have five blogs: three that my students basically manage, and two that I do, and I absolutely love sharing my ideas with others and receiving some amazing ideas at the same time too. Twitter is also great for collaboration, and something new for me too, but probably the best PD that I’ve ever received. I hope that you enjoy your time in the tweeting and blogging world!

    As for my favourite “cross over” moment, that’s a hard one. I don’t know how you balance as much as you do. I don’t have children, so that makes my home life a little less busy. That being said, I do have two dogs, and I think that my students first realized this when I recorded one of my read alouds on the webcam, and just as I begin to talk, my dogs let out a great big howl. My students thought that this was fantastic! Now every time I go to play a “webcam read aloud,” they start to discuss amongst themselves if the dogs are going to make an “appearance.” All of these personal moments make us more human to our students, and provide a great way for them to connect with us too!

    Can’t wait to read your next blog post!
    Aviva

    Reply

  2. Kelalford
    May 27, 2010 @ 13:48:12

    Cool idea, having your students help with that monumental choice! I think the more real you can make things the better!
    My favorite activity I do with my students is testing slime recipes. I tell them my friend works for a toy company and she needs to find the best recipe. I love this actvity because it involves every subject and shows how everything is connected. We test each product, write letters that explain the choices made, create commercials, talk about supply and demand, and we then try to manufacturing the best slime using an assembly line! My third graders love this as much as I do because they now are slime experts!
    Thanks for writing this blog! Recalling this activity just gave me another idea!!

    Reply

  3. Dave L
    May 27, 2010 @ 14:03:57

    Great first post. I’m glad that you decided to make sharing a priority. I too am new to blogging and Twitter. It’s great how we’re able to share and learn so much from each other. Keep ip the great work.

    Reply

  4. Rich Cantrell
    May 27, 2010 @ 14:05:58

    Melissa, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I’m sure many of those reading your blog can relate to what you had to say. Many also have the same feelings I’m sure. I have only been blogging for a few months but your sharing is far superior to mine. I have chosen to being by sharing comments and blogs that touch me or validate by views or concerns. Brave of you to jump in with a wonderful expression of your feeling.
    I think our lives should not be fragmented. Your life in and out of school is the sum total of who you are. Be your self. Kids want “real” people that they can relate to. They want to build bridges and make connections with you. Your students want to share their lives with you. Until you have this relationship with a student your lesson engagement on the part of the student will not be 100%.
    Be REAL. Love your new baby, your hubbie, your students, and above fall deeply in love with LIFE! Great blog start. Keep on blogging. I blog, You blog Let’s all blog.

    Reply

  5. TeachieAng
    May 27, 2010 @ 15:21:16

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Being a mom & working full time is hard. There are many days I don’t feel either role well. I have a great husband that reminds me that we have happy children & I need to see past all the ‘not dones’ & celebrate the successes. That helps, especially since he does laundry too! I love teaching, I love seeing the growth in my students & knowing I do make a difference in their lives. I reflect regularly ang share student work/accomplishments with a group of people who support me. Find that group of people who fill your bucket so you can go on to fill others buckets. Twitter might help you find that group. Celebrate the yes situations don’t worry about the things not done.

    Reply

  6. georgecouros
    May 27, 2010 @ 18:33:59

    I think one of my favourite moments as a teacher is when I use to teach the NCAA basketball tournament during the probability section of mathematics. I am a HUGE basketball fan and I wanted to watch that tournament (which goes during school) so bad. I thought, “Why not share my passion with the kids?” I taught many kids some great, real life lessons in math, but I also turned some of them into basketball fans.

    The “priorities” that I speak of are all about bringing your life into your job. Kids respond to you so well when they see you are a real person, and I know from what I have seen of your personality, you will teach them way more than the curriculum. You will teach them about real life. That is what makes you a great teacher.

    Reply

  7. Carolyn
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 05:30:20

    Good to see you blogging Melissa. You’re a great writer.

    One of my first crossover experiences shows how the brashness of young teachers can sometimes show up the caution of veterans. My first assignment was in an adolescent behavior classroom – eight troubled boys with low frustration points and a couple who could be quite violent. While it was a modified program, there was an expectation to cover the broad areas of of the curriculum including fine arts. This was not a group of art boys! One of my personal interests is pysanka – ukrainian easter eggs. I mentioned the idea to a couple of my teaching colleagues at a staff meeting a few weeks ahead of Easter and basically got the “Are you nuts?!” look. In spite of “the look”, I went ahead.

    When you are making pysanka, you must use raw eggs as boiled eggs won’t accept the dye. As well, it is a multi-step process requiring maximum use of fine motor skills. Finally, as you proceed making your egg, it looks duller and duller until the final step when you melt the wax and a vibrant design emerges – there is nothing instant about it. So this was not an activity that was particularly well suited to my class.

    Yet when we actually sat down, there were moments when they resembled a group of Babas engrossed in their project and chatting away. But it’s the crossover part that makes the difference. The boys were mostly facinated by the stories of my family and trying to find some normalcy for themselves given their tumultuous background. Thanks for helping me to remember that experience.

    Reply

    • Melissa Everitt-Dallinger
      Jun 02, 2010 @ 13:28:17

      wow Carolyn, you are brave! That is excellent and I agree, the story sharing and getting to know each other is sometimes the best part of teaching!

      Reply

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