Last Thursday I met 14 of the 18 kids in my class. I'm really excited about this year with them. But I think I broke one of my cardinal rules. Unintentionally but still.
Lisa Parisi recently wrote about whether or not she should talk to previous teachers about her students. She laid out the pros and cons very well.
I commented that I like to get to know my students for the first week and then talk to their previous teachers. That way I build my own impressions of them but then I benefit from learning about their histories and tips for helping them. The best of both worlds.
Unfortunately this year a lovely teacher I work with already knew a lot of these kids. As a result, I've heard quite a bit about them. None of it is negative but it shaped my view of them as I met them last week.
I'm concerned that I've already placed students into certain boxes in my mind. This will make it harder to hold high expectations for them or have patience with them or who knows what else. This is my own fault so, starting tomorrow, I'll just have to work extra hard to see each of these little darlings for themselves rather than through others' eyes.