And...what works with one child (or class) one day is a complete and utter failure the next. So much for Plan A.
Moving on to Plan B, Plan C, Plan D...etc etcetera....
So much of last week (and this one if I am honest) has been about trying plan after plan.
It has quickly become apparent that a good portion of the class are not morning people. They come in and sit down looking like they are thinking about bed and more sleep. Energy is low. Definitely in the blue zone.
The other half of the class, of course, comes in ready to go with energy to spare! Green zone all the way with some heading towards red!
Getting these two groups to work together first thing in the day is a bit of a juggling act right now.
So, doing spelling first thing is out. Having a morning meeting where we go around and tell our zone in the A.L.E.R.T. colours is in.
Sitting to listen for more than 5 minutes is out. Getting up to do dances and movement on a very frequent basis is in.
Pulling out my Conscious Discipline book is definitely in. I have been using products from CD for awhile. I have a couple of their
stress stars (which the kids fight over. Might have to get more of those really soon!!!!)
But I have never done more than read the website and try a few ideas. This past summer I ordered the book because one of my favourite bloggers was doing a summer book study. Heather over at Heather's Heart is such an inspiration to me. She is so honest about the daily struggles of teaching young children and has helped me keep my sanity along the way. Plus she is beyond generous with her ideas and printables. In a word she is AWESOME!
So, on Wednesday of last week, I made myself a cup of tea (because, after all, as my husband says "Where there's tea, there's hope") and hunkered down with my book. I re-read chapter 1 which is titled "Composure - Being the Person You Want Others to Become" and deals with the power of perception. The key here being that as a teacher I must be self aware and maintain my self-control. I am responsible for modelling what I expect from the children. It really is true that the teacher sets the tone in the classroom.
And the best way to do that is to practice what I preach. Stop and take deep breaths. Rub the palm of my hands. Get a drink of water. Stretch. (All strategies to get back to green zone) Then repeat as often as necessary when I feel my volcano is about to blow! I have a solid feeling that this is probably going to be my biggest challenge this year. I have to keep calm as my triggers are pushed over and over and over again. So in the words of probably the most pinned phrase of 2012. I am going to...
Wish me luck!