I shocked my students this week.
During a rainy day game, there was a moment of silence. We were waiting for one student to finish his thought. A predictable comment. Something he is known for and says all the time. One that always gets a laugh. And at that moment, I said it. It just came out. And the class exploded. When they calmed down, I apologized. And one student said, “No, that was too perfect.”
I had joined in their play, and I couldn’t help but think of the beautiful new book by Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz, Kids 1st from Day One. In it, they reference Stuart Brown’s Play Personalities having readers determine what type of play personality they have and can bring into the classroom. At that moment, I was taking on the “joker” personality. Opening this side up to my kiddos, left them happily shocked with my silliness. And it made me feel good too. To be silly with them.
Later this week, during a whole group discussion about a scientific phenomenon, excitement bubbled over into sidebars. Shouted responses to questions dissolved the group’s attention. One student wanting to be heard said in frustration, “Why can’t you stop talking and listen?” And I said, “A thought I ponder daily.” It just popped out and stunned students. One said, “That isn’t positive. You are supposed to be positive.”
Whether or not I should have said that and how I could turn that moment into a teachable one rolls around in my head.
And I wonder. How we share ourselves in our classrooms is essential.
The community develops, and more of who we are becomes apparent. It can’t be helped. We are more than the moment or the lesson. It’s a continuum of understanding that develops, and we are real. All the bumps and smooth spots; trust and truth.