I love to teach but I don’t love to manage.
I have had plenty of years of practice in classroom management, with 24 young ones sitting on a rug, transitioning to tables, walking down the hall, etc., etc., etc. It has always been a necessary evil of the job for me. This year, however, is different; this year of virtual education. I am enjoying the “so what” moments.
Of course I never say, “So what?!” I just think it to myself. Like when the student on my screen is finishing a bowl of cereal. Or wearing a glittery unicorn horn on their head. Or is clicking a long line of markers end to end (but so what? It’s no going to turn into a sword when there’s no one else there to ‘en garde’ with.)
And the child who is doing down- dog on a yoga mat in front of their computer. Another is doing chin-ups on a bar in their room. Another is walking in circles but rushes back to unmute when I ask them to share their thinking with us.
If you’re on your belly in your bed with the covers on I WILL say “come sit in your seat and face the screen, come be with us.” Once we have virtually gathered as a class I will say, “put the book, put the legos to the side for now.” But many of these little behaviors I couldn’t allow in the classroom, this year I can just think to myself, “So what?”
Even the kid who takes the wad of purple putty, stretches it out and lays it over his face like an alien creature is eating him. I just keep on teaching.