Tuesday, March 23, 2010

it's in my job description

One of the things I have learned in the years of being a Kindergarten teacher is I am required to be observant. Every afternoon as I dismiss the students I need to study them so as not to miss a change that has occurred before the next morning. If a child received a haircut, It is my duty to notice, if a child gets her nails done, it is my duty to notice, if a child has his hair spiked "specially" that morning, it is my duty to notice. The way I have mastered this is to do two things. One, look at the body language of the parents, because sometimes it is really important to them that I notice this change OR the child has been bouncing off the walls that morning because they could not WAIT to get to school to show Mrs. Barnes. And two, I observe the child. If the child (and this happens more often than you think) is bouncing up and down and is not focusing on getting their shoes on that morning, then I know there is something I need to comment on. If a child is avoiding eye contact but has a slight grin of embarrassment on their face, I know there is something that requires my attention. This was not something I learned in college, it is something I learned as I taught. It is an incredibly important and rewarding "skill". Children love to be noticed and I realized that when their teacher notices a little detail about them and makes an encouraging comment, it sets a mood...a positive space to allow them to continue to learn in a place that they know they are loved and appreciated.

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