GTMS Life > Blog February 5, 2024

Cherry Community – Mr. Patrick & Mrs. Buonadonna

Greeting February and slowing down… Dear Greene Towne Parents, I’m sure I’m not alone in being astonished by how fast this year is going by. Didn’t we just welcome in our First Year students? Weren’t conferences just a few weeks ago? Just this morning, a Kindergartener assured me that she knew what she was doing […]

Greeting February and slowing down…

Dear Greene Towne Parents,

I’m sure I’m not alone in being astonished by how fast this year is going by. Didn’t we just welcome in our First Year students? Weren’t conferences just a few weeks ago? Just this morning, a Kindergartener assured me that she knew what she was doing with her work, as she is “almost a First Grader” after all. 

Not so fast!

With the skills our students have developed since joining the Primary Level and the familiarity they feel with the environment, it’s not surprising that our classroom has become a busy hive with twenty-one 3-6 year-olds buzzing around it… and a couple of teachers, too. It’s around this time each year that I’m reminded – by the rapid pace of every moving thing around me – to slow down. One can fall into a pattern of trying to meet the needs of too many at a time and, in doing so, contribute to a climate that feels hurried and chaotic. The fact that our students dutifully go about their work and manage their needs without colliding with each other (for the most part) every day is proof enough that we adults should be actively seeking meaningful ways to do less for them.

The confidence and capability that I see in our class signal to me that I can reassess what my involvement in the classroom should look like. I’m ready to make myself less available to our students, so that they may be even more responsible for their own development. I am going to allow myself to take a little more time each day to sit and observe what goes on in our room – to really witness without affecting it – so that I may come to know everyone in it a little better. Some of my most enlightening discoveries as a teacher have come about through taking time to sink into the background and notice the subtleties of how a student interacts with the environment. I’ve noticed problem-solving techniques which I had previously overlooked because I stepped in to help. I’ve noticed cooperation among students who I hadn’t thought to pair up. I think you might be surprised by what you observe at home as well. So, in defiance of the speed of this school year, I invite each of you to join me in carving out a little time each day to zip your lips, sit on your hands, and just watch these kids go. Even if yours isn’t “almost a First Grader” you’ll see amazing things.

Mr. Patrick

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