Thursday, February 12, 2009

Focus of Attention

As half my class was clamoring for my attention today, I realized why I'm so exhausted at the end of a day teaching first grade. All of them frequently want my attention at the same time. This was rarely, if ever, true of fourth and fifth graders. The only time they all wanted my attention at the same time was if I had some sugary sweetness to give them.

First graders want to tell you everything at all times. They don't even notice that anyone else is in the room, much less talking to you at that moment. Yesterday, Tree mentioned that she had a kindergarten class at the end of the day. She said twenty kindergartners were surrounding her. In fact, the phrase she used was that it was like a hoop skirt of kindergartners. Today I truly understood what she meant.


Franki said...

I've taught both ages of elementary and notice the same things. Now I teach K-5 in the library and this is obvious again. Not only do they all want your attention, but they don't always notice when someone else already has your attention so often I find myself participating in 3 conversations at once! A very fun developmental thing because it is so clearly a 5-6-7 year old trait. But definitely a different kind of tired! I enjoy every age for different reasons:-) Great post, so insightful.

Anonymous said...

I teach kindergarten and then am an after school teacher for grades k-5. Last year when I was working the after school program, the older kids often laughed at how many times my name was called by the younger ones.

Angela Watson said...

A hoop skirt of kindergartners! Oh, I'm SO stealing that.

I taught PreK for three years, and I'll tell you from experience, the littler ones CAN be trained not to be so needy. However, the process of training them is just as exhausting as just holding 3 conversations at once. ;-)