Slice of Life: Connections Made

Last night I was thinking of child-rearing moments. The ones that are tattooed on your heart.  Those times in the car, on the pool deck, at the park, in the living room., in a parent conference. These ordinary times are gemstones that no one else would consider worth a second thought, are mine-alone moments.

I wonder about the moments we store away. What comprises its essence?  Those moments created when we connect to another human. And maybe because of their transitory state, relationships with children are particularly precious.

This week I sit down with families and students for student-led conferences. To hear students tell their parents what they do well and what they need to work on. What they need help with and what their goals are. I am continually stunned at how perceptive, and confident children can be when we give them the opportunity.

I watch students share their stories, and their relationships are clear and present. Each one collecting their treasures right in front of me.

” The connections we make in the course of a life —
maybe that’s what heaven is.”
— Fred Rogers

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.

 

How should she persist?

I have kiddos working in math teams.  The objective is to have time to think alone, then to collaborate with a partner and finally, to check in with the team of four. All are responsible for each other’s learning and understanding of strategies and accuracy of answers.

This structure has been instructive to my students, but as always, I am the biggest learner in the room.  Each day I see new issues crop up. And, what I hope to create, a spirit of questioning, critiquing, and analyzing strategies, is always being tested.

When we walked out to lunch today, I overheard a boy say, “How can it be 18 miles?  It was only 2/5 of a cup? It doesn’t make sense.” The problem lived on through the lunchline and the girls who were fairly sure the answer was 18 miles, just let it go.

The girls were correct. And they tried to convince their teammate during class. But they couldn’t. Later I was asked, “How can I get my team to listen to me?” And that’s what I’m thinking about tonight. About how we see ourselves and our ideas. Why some students are talking about it long after the event. And why others let it go.

I can’t help but think about the experiences recounted in this Strangers podcast. Does this dynamic play a part in this math micro story? Would it be that same if the group was made up of all boys? Is this about mindset? About gender? And ultimately, what we can do as teachers to empower all students?