Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Welcome back! Is it June yet?

We were back to school after spring break…. And, happily, the mood was relatively good. Each kid came in with a smile on his/her face, and even if it didn’t last all day, it sure was a nice way to start!

My experience over the years is that the kids are generally glad to be back to the structured, predictable, child-centered environment of the classroom. There are usually some tears, more whining too, but that’s okay. We get through it, and begin to set ourselves back on course.

One of the most important things we do is have a morning routine that is very predictable, very much a routine, a clearly known entity. I try to build in some quiet time, a chance to get a “temperature check” on each child, and some playtime to help kids decompress after a tumultuous bus ride or difficult morning at home.

We whisper, do a lot of sweet, quiet probing, and offer hugs and time to rest or read on the bean bags.

It’s very noticeable when another grownup comes into the classroom talking at a normal volume…. Even the kids go “shshhhh”. We all seem to recognize the value of these few, peaceful minutes at the start of our day.

It only lasts about 20 minutes.

But they are my favorite 20 minutes of the day….

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