Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!
This week I celebrate loosening the reins. All school year long, I make it a practice to start teaching two minutes before the bell rings. I’m all about letting my kids know that I take their learning time seriously, that there is an urgency to our need to get to the work we must begin right away:reading great books, talking about them with passion and curiosity, writing from the heart, and learning about history – how things got to be the way they are, what we can do to bring about change.
That was then…
Now…with a few short weeks to go, it’s time to loosen the reins. My kids are exploding with summer excitement, and weary of the school routine. For all the love that has grown between us, they do not wish to be in the classroom any more. So, I step back, take a deep breath, and loosen the reins. Like high strung thoroughbreds, they can sense it. And they respond beautifully. There is definitely more laughter and chattiness, but a word or a look from me brings them back in line. No one wants those reins to tighten again.
On Friday morning, I looked out over a roomful of sixth graders prepping for a quiz. They were dutifully going over notes, and I started to feel guilty. What was I thinking? How mean was it to schedule a test the Friday before a long weekend? Ugh! So, I changed gears. The test became a group project. Here’s how we covered divisions between the North and South on the eve of the Civil War, the meaning of Lincoln’s great “house divided” speech, and the impact of Lincoln’s childhood on his character and outlook:
We had fun.
Yup, loosening the reins is definitely something to celebrate!