I think I'm a good teacher. I feel pretty confident in that statement. But I'm not the teacher I want to be most of the time. It's too hard, I'm too lazy, whatever.
But for the past two days I've been that teacher. And I'm exhausted.
For the past week my first graders have been forming questions about ladybugs, researching to find the answers and planning a book for us to write together. Yesterday we spent our whole morning (Mondays are a shorter day for us) taking what we had planned and writing it on large paper for our book. It was done in small groups and I spent the entire time moving from one group to the next to encourage, help, redirect, whatever was needed. By the time they went to lunch I was wiped. In the afternoon they continued to work on these pages straight through our free choice play time up until dismissal. No one even complained when they realized there had been no free choice.
This morning we looked through yesterday's efforts and our research on non-fiction texts and worked to create a cover, title page, table of contents, glossary, and about the author page. They worked on them this morning and some more this afternoon and some still need a bit more time tomorrow. Again, I wandered from group to group supporting in whatever way was needed. Their book is going to be amazing (pictures to come soon).
During free choice I worked one-on-one with kids to be sure they understood something that seemed complicated to many during our calendar time.
During math I again worked one-on-one with kids to assess their understanding of coins (our grade level's current common assessment). We wrapped up our day by beginning to organize the pictures they took of shapes for our movie.
Plus, while my class was at PE I met with a former student, now a third grader, that I mentor once a week.
Being the teacher I want to be requires that I am 'on' 100% of the time. I don't think that's humanly possible.