I have been on this quest to turn my classroom into a fully integrated and differentiated inquiry-based reading/writing/tech wizardry zone. I have also been failing miserably at it. Then today I noticed two things:
1. I have changed. So I’m not where I want to be, but today was the third time this week (and it’s only Wednesday) that my kids were in groups. I have always loved group work, but last year it was a way to spice up the regular lesson, a way to teach when I had just the right activity for it. Now it is how I teach. I still lecture sometimes, but group work is now my everyday method, not my special occasion method. In fact, in one period today, I used lecture as a threatened punishment if students didn’t get on task.
2. I’m not really realistic in how I imagine things. This was apparent when I asked my husband to drop the kids off on his way to work so I could finish my planning for tomorrow. In my head, this sounded like a lovely idea. I had large sheets of paper for them to color on and crayons at the ready. I imagined they would quietly sit while I sorted and copied papers. However, once daddy was gone, all heck broke loose. They screamed and argued over whose desk the crayons were on, they climbed on a stool to steal all my note cards, they even tried to swipe my Easy Button. My kids weren’t any different from usual; I just imagined the hour going differently and became frustrated when my kids acted like kids. I think my lesson planning is probably the same way…if the lesson doesn’t match my imagination, I deem it a failure rather than looking for the successes.
So maybe I’m not such a failure after all.