A View from the Balcony
May 2, 2017
I’ve been rushed lately or at least I feel rushed, like my to-do list is too long and I’m just racing through the days. But today something slowed me down. Today I was able to take in a view of our intermediate classrooms from the balcony so to speak. I accompanied some consultants that were taking a quick view of our intermediate literacy block. It was amazing to watch the reading workshops in action without having an agenda… or a role to play. Clare referred me to an idea called ‘ watch from the balcony, lead from the floor’. Think about how much we could learn, observe, think about when we just move through the classrooms and watch.
So today I moved through the intermediate classrooms in our building for just an hour or so during their reading workshop. I moved quickly not staying too long in any one spot, but returning to see a little minilesson, small group, and a little independent work. Most of these rooms, I’m in every single day. During those days, I have a purpose, a mission, goals. Today, I just watched. Just looked. The teachers were interested in what the consultants noticed. No one asked me what I noticed, so the gems are my personal treasure.
I knew you all were amazing teachers but today I noticed…
Your students are listening. They’ve learned the talk of reading workshop. They can turn and talk, and really turn and talk.
You teach with ease. You’re light on your feet. You’re enjoying yourselves. You know your stuff.
Everything in your rooms shows who you are as a teacher. You treasure your anchor books you’ve shared. You have a place for students to give feedback to you and each other. You’re sharing yourselves with your students.
There’s trust. The students trust you, you trust them… and you all trust me. No one hesitated for one second when I came and went from your room. You smiled, the students smiled. I smiled.
My smile was real. I see the work that you’ve done. The work that you’ve done with your students. The work that we’ve done together.
I feel filled up. I hope to take more of these side trips and I’m going to make sure you can take them too.