Half time isn't filled with a marching band and sports fans cheering on the sidelines. Half time doesn't just happen on a Friday night or a Saturday. Dressing for half time doesn't mean I'm wearing my scarlet and gray with my three favorite half time letters of the alphabet, OSU. Half time is every day in my world. Half time is the amount of time my students get to come to kindergarten. It would be wonderful if my half time meant my students came half days every day of the week, but they don't. As my editor for Choice Literacy coined my attendance schedule, my students come fifty percent.
Fifty percent can be seen as a positive when trying to reach a fundraiser goal and you are half way there. Fifty percent can be seen as a positive when I have been running for 15 minutes and I have another 15 minutes until I am done. However, fifty percent also makes me think of half done. That maybe I am not trying my best. Maybe I am not working hard enough. Maybe I need to teach more and faster and harder. I get to spend two or three days a week with my students. They come two days and alternate a Wednesday in the middle of the week, it's not even fifty percent attendance within a week.
Driving home the other day, I was talking to myself a bit. I was feeling a little bit worn down about fifty percent. After making my list of what I can't fit in and why integrating the curriculum is hard and how technology with laptops twice a month isn't best practice, I stopped self talking. I told myself if given fifty percent then it might be okay to teach fifty percent. My curriculum is one hundred percent but if the legislators and decision makers don't recognize that then maybe I need to accept teaching fifty percent. There will be days everything doesn't get done. There will be days we need to go slower. There will be days where quality and relationships matter the most. With fifty percent, they need to leave kindergarten liking and even loving school to want to come back for one hundred percent first grade. I think I can do that, if I stay focused on my students.
Thank you Stacey and Team TWT for hosting Slice of Life weekly challenge.
Wow! Your post echoes many of the frustrations I just read in a previous post. Keep speaking up for what is right for your students!ReplyDelete
Oh Mandy, what a tragedy that you don't have your kids full time. What are the powers that be thinking? Full time kindergarten should be the standard, especially with the common core state standards hanging over our heads.ReplyDelete
Yikes! That is a crazy schedule. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and your students.ReplyDelete
Ugh. I feel your pain about your students. Their schedule doesn't give them a fighting chance, but your commitment to building relationships and giving them a positive school experience will make them better people. I applaud your hard work in kindergarten!ReplyDelete
The title to your blog says it all...enjoy and embrace learning. Such a powerful statement that reflects you as an educator so despite these BIG frustrations I know that is what you will do. This encourages me to do the same. We live in HOPE with and for our young learners.ReplyDelete
It's so encouraging to read words of comfort that wouldn't be possible unless they were written. Thank you ladies for boosting my day.ReplyDelete