But we have so much to say

Every week, at school, the children want to tell me so many things. They start raising their hands before I even ask a question. They interrupt almost every page with comments. I have to hurry on because I only have one half hour in each room, and if I’m late to the next class, that throws me off more, making me even later to the one after that. One week I was so late to the third class that the teacher must have given up on me and taken her students elsewhere. I couldn’t blame her.

Teachers have a lot to do. That’s why I only take 30 minutes in each class. Yet I feel so bad about leaving with questions unanswered, children who didn’t get to make that important comment, or even sharing silly faces and more laughs. I try to get lots of laughs in. I try to get them to pay close attention. I try to frame each question carefully so they can think about their answer. I give students time to formulate their answer and speak. But sometimes, if they don’t that the answer immediately, I have to move to the next hand waving in the air.

My wish would be for more relaxed time, more opportunities to listen to the students. Maybe when the virus numbers are better, and students are no longer required to wear masks, I can again hang out in the cafeteria and on the playground. Maybe next year things will be different. And by different, I mean better.

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9 responses to “But we have so much to say

  1. It might just be my state or my district, but I quit our District Site Council soon after I learned from elementary teachers that they had less than an hour each day to spend on anything other than their packaged Reading and Math programs. I think it was 40 minutes for Science, Social Studies, Art, story time, show-and-tell, etc. This was twenty years ago when they were trying to carve out time for a scripted Writing program and wondering which of those “extras” to cut. In the mean time, Finland had more play time, no scripted programs at all, and higher test scores.

    I had a wonderful public education in a forward-thinking district that experimented. We had time for music and art and experimental science projects, base 5 in math, weekly class plays, reports on countries and state birds, and dipping candles in U.S. history. It seems that few teachers have time for such memorable activities anymore.

    • A couple of the rooms I am in seem to be doing lots of art projects, which makes me happy. I know the school has an outdoor art project at lunch every few weeks. There are more counselors on campus, too. Perhaps the pandemic has shaken schools out of the rigor mode they set for themselves and relaxed more for arts and music. I sure hope so.

  2. I can imagine trying to fit in a 30minutes reading and then questioning and answering. The virus has certainly affected adult time, whereas I guess most children do not understand. As for staying on site to interact another causality of the virus.

  3. Cheers to that thought!! Keep up the great work.

  4. I do hope you will be able to find a way to spend more time with those hungry minds. They don’t realize it, but they are fortunate to have an advocate in you. I love to hear about the kids.

  5. Your wish sounds like a good one. I hope it happens.

  6. You are such an awesome teacher, Delaine. All those children are truly lucky to have you even if only for half an hour.

  7. I just related your story about the girl protecting your time from kids who were trying to talk to you when you were making your way to a classroom. I had to laugh all over again… so cool.

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