Don't count the days, make the days count. I have this quote in my classroom near the door, and I view it everyday. It's one of the first comments I make to students so that they can get to know me and what I'm about. It's also sort of an inside joke because I hate to count; numbers simply are not my game. Even simple math often sends my head spinning. So when I'm pondering what to write in my first blog post as "seeyoulatermrsschroeder", this is what comes to mind.
How can we make the days count more? I live in a minimum of two worlds: teacher and mom. And I daily try to navigate making the days count more and more because I see how quickly the clock spins in each of my worlds. In my teacher world, it's suddenly October and almost the end of the first quarter. In my family world, my oldest is in high school (what??) and my other two children have changed overnight from sticky toddlers to young men with underarm hair. To top it off, I have wrinkles. Sigh.
How can we make the days count in our classrooms? This is the challenge for every teacher out there, and I certainly don't have the answer. I do know from my personal experience, from my reading, and from my Twitter PLN that reaching out and making personal connections with our students is the number one way to impact students in a positive, impactful way. Not test scores, or Lexile scores, or MAP percentiles....but eye to eye, face to face, human to human connections. Can I ask my student about their pets, their music tastes, their hobbies, their family life, their favorites and make a connection? It's a step, and my hope, my passion, is that I can be a positive influence on these young humans that have been entrusted to my care and guidance. Maybe when they are interviewed for their first job and are asked if there was a teacher who inspired them, their answer will be, "Ummm. Mrs. Schroeder. Eighth Grade." Success.
Why "See You Later, Mrs.Schroeder"? I want them to remember my name (and it's pronunciation, SCHRAY-DER ). I want my students to remember that I challenged them, that I cared for them, that I helped them find a book that they actually read and enjoyed. I want them to remember that we laughed, we worked, and we learned. I want them to remember that the days need to count. So, I end my class every day with, "See you later." My hope is that they respond, "See you later, Mrs. Schroeder!" I tell them that it brings me joy to hear them say it, and it does. But even more powerful in my purpose of this playful banter is that I feel reassured to know that they will remember some of the learning that we've done that has made the day count.