This year has been interesting. In some ways absolutely fabulous. In other ways draining and exhausting. I only have 22 students in my homeroom this year so I feel like we should be further along in our skills than we are right now. By this time in previous years, I had kids blogging regularly, using our Google site to create a student portfolio page, using a Google site as a book club discussion page etc. All of this seamlessly melded into my everyday curriculum. This group just doesn't seem to have the drive, motivation or excitement to do anything outside of class. Perhaps it's me. Have I modeled my passion, and excitement enough? As an elementary school teacher, I feel more and more like Stretch Armstrong. Prepping for reading, writing, math everyday and trying to fit in all that the district, state and federal people mandate is downright exhausting! I feel this year that there isn't time to breathe or push deeper into a project because the pacing guide screams "Keep moving!" I try really hard to push back on that guide when I can. I try to fit time in the day for good ol' fashion relationship connections with the kids. This is such a foreign idea these days. I really think somewhere in those schmancy standards that are created there are ones that talk about teaching these students how to be well behaved, well mannered, kind, considerate and respectful people!! When and where do they learn these things if moms and dads are too busy or don't have the skills themselves??
I'm getting ready to roll out an assignment to my students that will involve some thinking around manners and include some simple technology integration. I am crossing my fingers that they will like it and take it to heart. This isn't an assignment on any pacing guide and I'm tweaking it to fit our procedural writing assignment requirement. Perhaps if I see their excitement with the project it will help my energy and excitement level.