I've gotten into a bad habit. When I talk about my current crop of kids, I often joke, "This group may cause me to drop out of the classroom for a couple of years." Sometimes only half joking.
The thing is, I have a lot of fun with them. I enjoy seeing them as they investigate and build, as they try out new ideas and tell me stories. I have learned some of the things they like to do and tried to give them opportunities to explore.
The challenge comes when we get into a group. Our group learning times are becoming difficult. And I've used up all those "tricks" that usually help the group function better.
They all talk at the same time. The conversation bounces all over the place. I know this is normal for a group of 5s and allow for it...but this group is a little more excessive than others I've had.
When something is not working, I always wonder what I'm not doing correctly. Whatever is going on, it's not the kids...it's me. I always say that the kids in each group help me learn more about teaching and about young children. So, I'm working to find out what I need to learn from this one.
And I promise that I won't make that joke anymore. That joke is creating an expectation that I don't want to foster. This group is a great group of kids. They are energetic and social. They like to talk to me and tell me what they are thinking. They will listen to the stories and things I have to tell them...when I do things in a way that connects with them and their needs. I just need to keep experimenting. (And this group will be the group that helps me learn more so I will stay in the classroom for years to come!)
BTW - Teacher Tom wrote a great post about experimenting. You'll want to read it.