Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Benefiting From My Failing Memory

I don't know if it's because I teach first graders or if it's just who I am, but I am constantly on the watch for anything off balance with my class. (Honestly, I think it's me, sadly.) As a result of this, I feel a need to reprimand my kiddos frequently. This might be for dragging their hands along the wall and the artwork on said wall, crawling on top of a friend on the carpet, running in front of the swings on the playground, and such. Most of the time, I believe I have a good reason for redirecting a student or reminding them to pay attention to what they are doing.

Sometimes, however, I think I respond too quickly and chastise or redirect a child who wasn't really doing anything wrong.

Lately I've noticed that I often can't remember my students' names in the moment when I am ready to reprimand them for something (jumping down the hallway, getting up off the carpet in the middle of a read aloud. etc.). Luckily, that turns out to be a good thing sometimes.

In that second that I pause to think of the name, I also think about what I am about to say and realize I shouldn't say a thing. That child jumping down the hallway is staying in line and not bumping into anyone. Why shouldn't he jump? That child getting up off the carpet needs a tissue. I certainly don't want to discourage that!

I'm grateful that my memory failing me at times turns out to rein me in. Hopefully it will also bleed over into those times when their names are quick on my tongue. Hopefully I'll be less quick to call a child out and more likely to reflect before acting.

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