Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#WeirdEd Week 120- Talking Too Much

dem bones

Welcome to the beginning of the school year, where I always feel like I'm talking too much!

Yes, for days and days all I do is talk. We're setting goals and expectations and defining and redefining rules. I'm creating routines that will last (with copious adaptation and evolution) through the entire school year. Yes, students, I am going to talk you through my thinking for some of the ways we're going to do vocabulary this year. I'm going to talk you through how we think about math. I'm going to talk and talk and talk and I promise this won't keep happening. But I need you to understand what we're doing right now.

I have another reason for all the verbiage- I am lucky enough to have a student teacher this year. There is zero sarcasm in that sentence, by the way. I begged for a student teacher and frankly I hit the Lotta super win with mine. Veronica Miller is a kick ass college student with great energy and a positive, willing attitude and I'm so excited to share my class with her this entire year. But that does mean I'm doing some talking because I want her to hear how we should be talking to the kids.

Talk talk talk. No one really likes it. I know the kids are getting over it, even though I am quite entertaining and funny, if I do say so myself (which I do). And I'm not going to advocate not talking to them at all, I'm not some kind of all-or-nothing zealot.

Finding balance in the talking is the key. Right now I'm setting up a lot of dominoes. I'm building these intricate designs and layers and that takes time and patience. But soon they'll all be laid out. Once that's happened, all I have to do is tip one and watch everyone fall into place. (I don't love this metaphor because it could be misconstrued as me saying I know exactly what the kids will do because I planned it out, and that's not the case. I just know what the routines they will follow are.)

But tonight I'm tired of my voice. We're handing the reins over and the students are taking control. I've been modeling how must I trust them from the word Go. Literally. The first thing that happens in my class is they pick their own seats. And then they are allowed to adjust where they're sitting as needed as decided by them.

So let's talk about talking.

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