Day Two: Reality begins to set in; routines are established and practiced; expectations are in place. Little things like conquering the pesky ketchup packets, opening milk cartons, and covering textbooks become easier. Bigger things like homework assignments on certain days, checking out library books, forming guided reading groups, or creating passwords for software programs start to occur. Morning arrival and afternoon dismissal procedures begin to gel . . . we even have fewer morning tardies and shave 15 minutes off the afternoon car line from the previous day! These small yet highly significant celebrations make our day, but what do they have to do with a monster truck, you ask?
One of my favorite times of the school day is my “walk-about.” Doctors call them “rounds” but as my office staff will tell you, I’m usually walking-all-about the campus (lucky for them my walkie-talkie is always with me, huh?!). What is significant about this special time are the casual opportunities I have to interact with learners and their classroom leaders. For example, in one classroom today, a child was meticulously drawing large shapes on a section of paper to begin a brief writing assignment. This learner begins to tell me about the picture (monster trucks were involved) and how the family works on these trucks between races. I will have always have a healthy respect for the power of knowledge involved in building and racing monster trucks as well as an instant connection now with this child as we begin to build a learning relationship this year.
These first few days are critical times in which your child’s teacher builds connections and nurtures a unique relationship with each learner. This is the foundation for the year ahead. When you take time to build the relationship, trust soon follows. It is then easier to provide relevance and increase the rigor throughout the school year so the desired results and outcome occur. I encourage you to nurture this relationship process from home. Reach out and make a connection yourself. Parents are the first teachers; you are our learning partners and participating members on this educational journey. We need you!
We look forward to seeing you soon at parent meetings, volunteering in the classroom, or coming by to eat lunch with your child. In the meantime, think about those monster trucks, but don’t let them roll over you this year!