The Big Fresh July 14, 2018 Work and Play
This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
There was a beat of silence while I processed his question.
“Here. Right here. I’m at work right now.”
The silliness of the question immediately dawned on the boy and the whole class had a good-natured laugh at the exchange. But the boy’s question stayed with me for the rest of the day. Why didn’t it occur to him that I was working as I stood there and conducted class? What did that say about me? What did that say about my classroom?
I’ve always held myself to the rule that I wouldn’t ask my students to do something that I wouldn’t do myself. If my students are reading independently, I have a book out too. If I ask them to write in their notebooks, I do the same. When I assign any writing, I try it out myself. Perhaps it was this sense of “we’re in this together” that made him forget that I was actually doing a job.
The word work often has a negative connotation. “I have to go to work” isn’t usually uttered in an upbeat fashion. Work can be hard, tiring, and tedious. I’m not saying that teaching is never any of those things, but when I’m with my students those aren’t the feelings I dwell on. Most days I find joy, humor, and personal connections in my classroom.
In the end, I decided to take this boy’s question as a compliment. I was enjoying myself so much, I convinced him that I wasn’t even working at all.
This week we look at the differences between compliance and engagement in literacy workshops. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Free for All
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Last chance to join Jennifer Allen this July 18 - 29 for our online course Literacy Coach Jumpstart. You'll get personal responses from Jen to all your questions, view three webcasts, and receive books, a DVD, and one-month memberships to Choice and Lead Literacy websites. Click on the link for details:
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It's not an invitation if students are required to accept it. Franki Sibberson explains how engagement depends upon true choice and lots of options in her fifth-grade classroom:
From length to heart, Tara Smith provides seven criteria for selecting the first read aloud of the year that can engage students right from the start:
That's all for this week!