Growing up, my dad and I often had garage talks. Maybe some of you have experienced this. He often had words of advice and gave me insight that helped me develop into a young man...although I can’t say I always listened. On one particular evening, we were changing spark plugs and a distributor cap on my first vehicle (wait for it...an ‘88 caravan, loved that car)! I was having a hard time accepting some rude behavior (imagine that from teenage boys...) from some of my friends. My dad then went on to one of his many stories about when he was in the Navy. He often tells me about a quote that one of his Navy friends was known for saying, “People are basically good.”
The previous memory reminded me of summer, working in the garage and soaking up advice from my dad like a sponge. That brings me to think about the end of the school year when students tend to get excited and often have a “buzz” about summer. I remember this time of year as a teenager and the excitement I had looking forward to sleeping in, playing baseball, and going to the campground with my cousins. Having this empathy, putting myself in my students’ shoes, can go a long way when dealing with students.
As a teacher, I know that we can also have a “buzz” and excitement of summer. I know I still like sleeping in and watching baseball all summer...although this is challenging with 3 under 5. Sleeping in now usually consists of waking up at 6:30 AM! However, It’s important to remember as educators it is our job to make sure we are challenging students with rigorous curriculum and expectations until the final bell.
So...some of my students and I came up with some tips that may help us this time of year:
What are some ideas that you are doing in your classroom/building this time of year that have been engaging?