Monday, March 12, 2012
They Are Trying
Like a broken record, everyday and everyday, we went through the same routine. I stood at the top of the landing, looking down at them, finger held up to my lips in the "shhhush" position. They continued with their giggling, occasional shriek, bodies unable to stand still.
This is picking up fourth grade girls after lunch. They had their recess first and just finished up twenty minutes of lunch, which to most fourth grade girls is one long chattering session. Making the transition to calm focused learners is difficult.
I tried several strategies to ease this transition and I'd have to say it has improved somewhat through the year. But nothing worked as well as going to visit the teacher whose classroom is directly across the hall from the lunchroom door.
"Girls," I began one day last week. "I'm worried about the students in Ms. Avery's classroom. I'm believe your behavior may be keeping them from learning." "I think we should check with her."
I assured them that this was just for their information, that they weren't necessarily in trouble. Ms. Avery answered her door, surprised to see a line of nineteen girls before her. I explained why we were there and she did tell them that at times it would interrupt her class.
"Look inside at what they are doing," she said. The girls peered in cautiously. "They have so much work to finish." "Sometimes they are at this table right here by the door and they can get distracted by you."
I've never seen that group of girls so quiet. I kept my fingers crossed that this would finally do the job of calming them.
Five days later I think it did make an impression. When I pick them up they are so much less boisterous. Their bodies are calmer and the line hushed. But one of the most pleasing, and somewhat surprising, results is the way they look at me. They are so proud of their behavior. It is then I realize just how hard it is to make that transition from giggly girls to waiting in line.
I'm thinking fruit sundaes are in order for this Friday's lunch dessert.
Written by Becky at 9:16 PM