Cleaning Out My Classroom "Hametz"

It's part of Jewish tradition prior to Passover to clean out the house of all bread products. This Jewish version of Spring cleaning also takes on a spiritual aspect as we're told to also evict the "evil inclination" from our hearts. With the school year 3/4 done, I thought about what sort of "hametz" I would want to clear out of my classroom.

Each day I try to go into my classroom with a fresh perspective. But sometimes that's easier said than done. Despite efforts to remain unbiased and fair toward all my students, ultimately I end up showing more patience with some students, and much less with others. In my own defense, some students will take advantage of second chances in a way that others do not. Still, losing one's temper more quickly with a student can develop into a nasty self-fulfilling prophesy where both the student and the teacher consistently expect a negative interaction.

So, after this much needed Spring Recess, I hope to return with this build up of frustration and negativity cleared away. I plan to communicate this to the kids very clearly. I want them to feel they have the chance to start fresh. Hopefully this will provide the opportunity to mend some of the relationships in the classroom that have gotten frayed and tense over the past months.

Of course it's easier for an adult to forgive and forget. Students have notoriously long memories. They can't memorize the formula for the area of a rectangle(!), but they can remember every promise and every slight with alarming clarity. Regardless, I'm hoping if I go into the classroom giving each student a fresh start, they'll rise to the occasion.


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