What Are You Waiting For?

Posted: April 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

Copyright: Busy Vegetarian Mom

It’s after spring break, which means. . . . .waiting for summer?

I remember when I was younger, I would count down the school days until summer. . . .because I wanted freedom!

I remember when I first started teaching, I would put on the board the number of school days until summer.

What are we waiting for? With a countdown to summer, you’re so focused on summer, that you sometimes forget the purpose of what you are to be doing now.

Many students hate summer. They won’t see their friends. They won’t get 3 meals a day (low income or busy parents sometimes means no food at home). They won’t be with someone who recognizes who they are and helps them to become a better person. Summer can be very scary for some students.

Do I count down the days until summer now? Well, in a way. I count down the days so that I know how many more days I have to reach my current students. In fact, we haven’t taken state assessments yet. My countdown is currently knowing how many days I have to help them do well on the test, not summer.

I have taught in a school that had block scheduling. That means if we had 50 days left of school, I had 25 class periods left. Then I would have state assessments and other testing, which would more than likely take it down to 20 class periods. When I started thinking about that, it helped me know what I needed to focus on NOW to reach and teach students.

Telling students how many days you have left could be telling them something that you may not want them to think about.

  • 25 days until I don’t have you as a student anymore (good or bad)
  • 14 days until I don’t have to work
  • 3 days until I pass you on to the next teacher

Each of those statements can be devastating to a student. Each of those statements can be telling the student that you don’t care about them. Each of those statements could be telling the students that you have better things to do with your time instead of working.

I myself care about each of my students. I want them to be the best student they can be until the last day of school. I want them to keep working (and learning) even after the school year is over. I feel that a countdown is telling students many things that may not be the best for learning.

Do you have a countdown in your classroom? What is the purpose of your countdown? What can we do to help students stay focused on learning and helping themselves become better?


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