Building Rhythms

As we enter the fourth week of school, I can feel the rhythm settling in.  It’s not the dulling thrum of never-changing routine, but the strong heartbeat of a community in progress.  You might think that because two thirds of our students remain the same each year, that the beginning of the year would be seamless.  But in fact, we feel the transition even with so much remaining the same.

Each year students take on a new role in the classroom. Those veteran third graders, who have already spent two years in the classroom with us, are figuring out just how to be a classroom and school leader.  They are considering how to provide support to their younger classmates while still maintaining their emerging “cool” image…not an easy balancing act!  Second graders, who used to be those “little kids,” are wrestling with stepping up to the demands of the being in the middle–no longer needing as much support, and yet grappling with no longer being the youngest.  And our brand new first graders have spent the last several weeks trying to figure out what it means to be a part of our multiage class.  A place with a history–a legacy of shared learning that pops up regularly, and they feel left out of.  They are learning to work with others, to accept help from their older peers, and to risk adding their contributions to our classroom learning.

This week feels like the turning point.  We are feeling like a cohesive community learning together.  Students are taking risks, supporting each other, and settling in…with the calm hum of learning-in-progress filling the room.

I can feel the rhythm building and soon the melody will come into focus.  I look forward to our voices blending and harmonizing as we grow together.

I love these moments of teaching.

3 thoughts on “Building Rhythms

  1. fmindlin

    What a beautifully written testimonial to an important process, and some of its moments, which I remember fondly from my years in the classroom. It’s a wonderful tool for advocacy to have eloquent yet concrete descriptions about what’s so special about connected, authentic learning. Thank you.


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