Repetition and Variation

Sometimes I feel less like a teacher, and more like a pull-string doll. "What are you supposed to be doing right now? Are you doing your best? Let me see who's listening?"

These are the phrases I've come to rely on in my classroom. I like them, because they frame things positively, but I have to admit it gets a little repetitive.

This week I added a new catch phrase to my repertoire. "We're a team." It's become a simple, catchall statement to let someone know they're doing something wrong. Not showing me they're ready for lunch? We're a team. Talking during a read aloud? We're a team.

Does it get repetitive? Hell yes. Like all the sayings I use, sometimes it's hard to muster enthusiasm and it loses a pit of its poetry. But while it's a struggle to stick to the script, it ultimately keeps me from lecturing and it keeps a positive tone. It might be boring or cheesy, but I'll stick with my key phrases as long as they work.


Unknown said…
I am a first grade teacher and have been in the classroom for eight years. I have taught 1st-3rd grade during that time. I think this is a true realization you have made coming from the perspective of someone who loves reading. As I reflect on my reading instruction as a child you are so right in your assessment. This is definitely something I will have on my mind as my current curriculum has a complete strategy based approach to teaching 1st graders to read. I would sometimes wonder why it takes an entire week to read a 15pg big book during my shared reading time...and then think about how we don't actually read the book until day 3 or 4 due to all the mumbo jumbo that needs to be discussed:-) before reading...sometimes it's nice to just read and talk about how a story made you feel. I think this is why "read-aloud" is probably mine and my student's favorite part of the day.

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