Saturday, March 22, 2014

SOLSC #22 The teacher's perspective

I am posting every day during March as part of the annual "Slice of LifeChallenge for Two Writing Teachers.  Check out their website for lots more reflections on teaching.


Some time ago, there was a cartoon circling around that showed all the things students are thinking about while a teacher is teaching.

I often think about the opposite - how many different things a teacher is thinking about, all at once. I think it would be fun to consider what's on my mind at any given moment of a preschool morning:

observing the children,
- whose playing where,
(write this down for the daily note)
- whose in a challenging mood? (keep her close to my side!),
- who is on the fringe, avoiding, needs to be drawn in?
- who should I encourage to play together today?
- who needs to take a break from one another?
- who needs more guidance and support today?
I need to remember that [so and so] is being picked up early, for a doctor's appt.
milk is spilt - yikes, need paper towels and clorox wipes! (student with allergies)
did I submit attendance?
what is my head count? how many students today?
they are going to need more paint at that table very soon
floor needs to be swept - I need the broom ...
whoa, he just tipped over the glue onto the chair
why is that activity not going as I expected?
do I have the data sheets ready to record GOLD data?
do I have all my math data complete?
wait, when is the deadline for my data? I need to get this entered!
I need to remind [so and so] that we are out of snacks
I need to request more wipes and tissues for our classroom
he is jumping up and down - rush him to the bathroom, right now!
the visitors are due here any minute now
what is that rank smell?
need to get over to those two - their voices are getting louder, more acrimonious; need to be at the ready
where is a good writing pen?
I hope I don't forget that - it would be an insightful comment for his report card
he's hoarding the blocks - that's going to be a problem as soon as she notices
what is the lunch count?
where is the tape?
whoa - scissors are not for hair!
does Melissa see /understand why I set up the centers in this way [am I scripting what I am doing for my Teaching Resident]?
do we have a meeting after school?
look at how focused they are! this is the "academics" that I need to share with families...
when is my next newsletter going out?
is something going on at home? he is not himself today
someone dropped that book and she's just walking right on it - whoops, there goes the page, split in two
does he have any friends? let me encourage him to play with...
where did I put the camera?
Oh, hi, Admin; oh, I made a mistake with attendance?
is there a fire drill today?
I need to talk to his family about...
there's sand and water on the floor
what book is planned for today? do I have it at the ready?
I need to fill out the paperwork for that boo-boo
her hands are covered with paint, let's get those washed before she touches anything
whoops, too late, need another wipe
where did I put my clipboard with all my notes from today?
where did I put my pen?

(A daily share by preschoolers in their own words)
A Story Collage by Seymour

     The mouse is on the bear’s nose. This is the door. This is the wall. The seal is bad, cause it’s in the ocean. People are in the trees and a cat. The seal falls on a chair. The cat runs away. And then the bear goes on this little chair. There is glue right here in the wall. What the man’s doing in this is he’s protecting himself. Those deers. Those deers are playing. The End


  1. This is classic! And, very funny. And, very accurate. I'm sure you could've even elaborated more... My list would include, 'Did I pull out that chicken this morning to thaw while we're gone?', 'I know I meant to add my grocery list to my purse this morning...did I or didn't I?', 'Oh -- I need to call the pediatrician today during lunch!', etc. Nice slice!

    1. I never even thought about the thoughts I have that have nothing to do with are so right! Those are very much present.

  2. The brain of a teacher has to be an interesting study. There are so many things to consider - so many variables to keep track of. There's the students, the environment, the next steps, the reflecting, etc., all pretty much simultaneously thought, WHILE you are physically doing something most likely totally unrelated to those thoughts! AND a teacher is "on stage" the whole time!

    1. I never even touched on that whole 'teacher is on stage' part - that is so true. There are so many other places our brains go when we realize that we are being observed...

  3. This is the way I think! This is a great piece. This is why a machine could never do our job.

    1. Absolutely - a machine could never do our job. I think it is why I love the job so much - you have to be creative and flexible.

  4. Whew! I didn't realize it, but you nailed it! Putting this in list form is awesome and so revealing. We go through the motions of the day but really our mind is always spinning, creating, noticing, wondering, planning. Can I tweet this? These days in 5th grade, I think about this one a lot:"what is that rank smell?" I am going to try to record my thoughts in one day.

    1. I don't know the first thing about tweeting! Go for it! I'm excited that this list seemed relevant even to you, a 5th grade teacher. Sorry that you also experience 'that rank smell' - ugh.