I plan on taking a break from blogging this summer to enjoy my sweet little girl! I hope all of you have a wonderful summer filled with rest, relaxation and/or fun!
I will however let you know when my book comes out (mid to end of August).
If you haven’t seen the cover yet, here it is! 9780325048000-1
My final blog for this school year is a list of what I have learned in my first 6 months of parenting. Being a new parent, I know that I am at the start of this journey and will learn so much more as time goes on (and will probably revise what I presently think).
I share these lessons because they are good reminders for our teaching as well.
As always, I hope you will comment and/or add what you have learned this year to the list.
- Work as a team: I want to be Ariana’s everything, but the reality is different people can bring different things to her life. I rarely make her laugh like this Ariana laughing! Isn’t that the same in teaching? You don’t have to be everything to your students. Find the teachers and the resources (books included) that can help!
- Be in the moment: Being a mom has helped me to stop thinking and worrying about what is ahead. I just don’t have time!. Yesterday for example, I took Ariana to a friend’s baby shower. Before Ariana was born, I would have worried about bringing a baby with me, but again I had no time to worry: I had a little girl to interact with all day. As a matter of fact, the party started at 12:30 and by that point Ariana and I had already gone to the park two times, played in her bedroom and taken a nap (Well, she did and I didn’t!) It’s important also to be in the moment with your students and not think ahead too much.
- On the other hand planning ahead is key as well! You might be thinking that I just previously said be in the moment and now I am saying the exact opposite of that. In my opinion, anything meaningful is not as simple as one way or the other. I often struggle with taking a stance on a topic (for example, Common Core Standards) because I can see the pros and cons and never think it’s as simple as: I love this or hate this. So, yes, be in the moment and plan ahead at the same time :))))
- Don’t just assess surface understanding: Go deeper! Ariana has recently become scared of strangers or at least that’s what my initial assessment was. As I went deeper, I could see that she usually loves children, especially girls in the 2-5 year range…go figure. She also likes adults, as long as I am holding her. When I went even deeper, I saw that if I walk out of the room even for a second these days, she goes into panic mode. So I have revised what I think. It’s not that she is scared of strangers. She is scared of me leaving. In teaching, we also need to go beyond our initial assessments and keep studying our students until we reach a more in-depth and more accurate assessment.
- Look at everything as an adventure. For awhile I was trying to make Ariana laugh, funny faces, silly noises, tickling everything but she just wouldn’t. And I think I’m a pretty funny person!!!! She finally laughed a great belly laugh in Dunkin Donuts during a break on the long trip home from Boston. I was so tired and wished I could just keep driving, but I had to stop and feed her. The stop and her laughter reminded me that I need to slow down and revel in the small stuff, just like she does! A stop at Dunkin Donuts in a middle of a long trip doesn’t have to a bad thing…it can be a hilarious adventure. What is fun for our kids in school depends largely on what we think of it and how we present it to them.
- Read Aloud is Key: I started reading aloud to Ariana at 6 weeks: Read Aloud Looking at that video now, I can see just how much Ariana has changed as a reader now that she is 6 months. She is much more focused and clearly lets me know which books she likes and which ones she doesn’t like. These days, she turns the pages and clearly lets me know when she comes to a favorite page. No matter what happens in our schools, we can’t forget the power that Read Aloud has in helping readers of all ages grow.
- Routine is Key: I have watched Ariana strive on routine. We have a nighttime routine that she can count on and it helps her to feel safe and happy. Our students feel happy and safe when we give them routines that they can count on.
- Oh the other hand getting out of routine can lead to huge growth as well. We just returned from a trip to Boston where almost all of Ariana’s routines were impossible to keep. I was able to see that she was just fine. As a matter of fact, she became more comfortable when I wasn’t around and fell even more in love with her cousins. As a teacher don’t hang onto routines so much that you miss the growth that happens when you do something completely out of routine!
- …I would love to hear your thoughts on what you have learned this year. Have a wonderful summer and I will let you know when my book is out!
Until next time,