Monday, February 3, 2014

The Enjoyment Detection

My word for this year is ENJOY. I'm working on being present and enjoying what happens as I teach and learn.

A month of focusing on ENJOY. I've already blogged about not much enjoyment.

But, as I reflect on this month, I think I see part of the problem. Enjoyment isn't just a feeling or a sustained state. It's detecting and recognizing moments of success and fun.

I've had a few of those this past month. While struggling with good classroom management, I've seen some adjustments to creating a better overall environment. I had a day that was full of moments to enjoy.

I see kids progressing. A boy that struggles with reading works through a difficult word. Kids tell me, "Mr. Wiley, this is a piece of cake!" as we work on mental addition.

A boy reads me his poem: "Violets are red, Violets are blue, Violets are green." I remind him that his poem is about reading, so he adds, "I like to read."

We work as a group to create a story about a mother who goes to the store, sees a wrestling match there, buys lots of chocolate ice cream, and has a party with her friends when she arrives home.

I hear "You are the best teacher" when we finally get to go outdoors for a short recess. I run with them toward the playground when we get outside.

When we subtracted to figure out how old Martin Luther King would be in 2014, a girl observed, "If he wasn't dead, he would still be alive."

We read a story about a man with lots of ties. I wore a tie one day and the kids were so excited. "Mr. Wiley," one said, "just like Mr. Tanen!"

I saw kids smile when they figured out a riddle, exclaim when they found a word that had a certain sound we were exploring, and beam when they did addition in their heads.

All things to enjoy. All things I did enjoy.

What I've learned in one month of focusing on this word - I must find the moments to enjoy - and let go of the need to constantly find the "failures" or "misses."

My class is full of moments to enjoy. At the end of the day, I need to recognize and remember them.

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