After reading Angela Maier’s 12 Things Kids Want from Their Teachers, I thought about the things in my classroom that really make my kids happy. I mean, besides the normal stuff, like getting an education, becoming global learners, using technology, etc… I mean the simple things that help you remember that they are just kids after all.
1. When I Laugh: I don’t mean a smile, a grin, or even a chuckle. I mean laugh until I cry. Now this doesn’t happen too often, so when it does, it really cracks them up!
2. A High-Five or Bumping Elbow at the End of the Day: Each child gets one. Every day. Even the students who are upset with me (or me with them) for whatever reason, cannot leave without giving me my high-five or elbow. For some reason, they get a real tickle out of the bumping elbow version.
3. They Sit in “My” Chair: There’s a chair at my kidney table in the back of the room,that I sit in when I conduct small groups. They love that chair. Sometimes I choose a student to lead small group, someone sits in that chair. Or when they collaborate, someone sits in that chair. Or they feel like working alone, someone sits in that chair. Sitting in that chair provides great pleasure.
4. They Get Chosen: Chosen to come up to the board,to be the Line Leader, share their stories, turn off the projector(I still don’t have a remote and it is on the ceiling) turn off the lights to watch a video. They don’t care, as long as they are given a chance to participate in some way, shape, or form.
5. When I Lose(Or When They Beat Me): I played a game of Decimal Math Basketball the other day at the Smartboard. One of my boys represented the class versus me. I didn’t read one of the choices carefully(teachable moment) AND I was missing my shots! They were making theirs though. (Darn those video games!LOL) I think they really enjoyed my enthusiasm when I did manage to get one shot in! I demonstrated good sportsmanship, and double high-fived my opponent at the end of the game, amidst the cheering in response to his skills at beating the teacher.
6. Eating Lunch in the Classroom: Always makes them feel special. When they can bring a friend from any 5th grade class, it makes it even better.:) Especially, if they get to shoot hoops in the classroom when they are finished eating.
7. When I Dance: I can dance. Of course, it is the “over the age of 30″ moves. One foot steps, the other comes out, you know what I’m talking about. But, I do have rhythm, so that couldn’t possibly be what is making them laugh. Could it?:) I end my day with music. Instead of calling groups, I choose music from my Ipad and play it. The music comes on and they get ready for home. The last two weeks I used Shakira’s “Waka, Waka”, you can’t help but dance to it. They pack up their stuff, singing and swaying to the music, even the “cool” ones. Next week, I’m using Michael Jackson’s “ABC”. In the event that our day didn’t go so well, a little music does wonders for the soul.
A classroom should be the place they come to learn, but shouldn’t it also be a place where they get to enjoy the simple pleasures school offers?