Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Jane Movement

My teaching life is an overwhelming one this year. I'm spending way too many evening and weekend hours grappling with how to best teach my crew of 26. I just purchased my 5th professional read since school started in hopes of finding something that will help me reach them better. I'm definitely being stretched by this young bunch with a vast range of abilities and personalities. 

In those moments when I'm feeling defeated and like a failure, I can see Jane, with the most beautiful eyes a first grader could ever have, but more importantly, with the most beautiful heart, walking around the corner of the building in the morning holding high for all to see the sign for "character" on her hand. It doesn't matter to her that other kids are running, because she takes my words to heart. "Character is doing what's right even when no one is watching." 

My Jane started a movement that day. Many quickly picked up on it and now come around the corner in the mornings holding up their character signs. Others make the shape of a heart which they hold over their own hearts. That's because I tell them to listen to their hearts. "Your heart will never let you down."

Last week I heard a boy from the room next door saying my name while I was letting my kids in one morning. There he was, holding up the sign for character. I doubt if he even knew what it meant, but the movement was spreading so I hardly cared.

Thank you Jane for reminding me that I'm doing something well. 


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12 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! I always tell myself to have eyes to see the "Janes" in my day! I know more and more is expected of these young children and wondering if it is always for their good. As a teacher I always feel " Am I doing enough?"--and have to check myself and remember the most important things (that these children know they are loved and care for and I notice who they are and am aware of what is going on in their lives and the learning will follow if that environment is created) ** I would love to know what you are reading--I always love what you have shared in past re: books you find for teacher growth.:) Thanks Tammy! :)

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    1. Thank you Chris. My two favorite recent reads are A Mindset for Learning and How to Differentiate Your Math Instruction. I'll be blogging about both. Now I just have to find the time to process how to use their ideas in my room.

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  2. Wow! You never cease to inspire me Tammy! I am also struggling a bit this year too did I mention I have 15 boys!!! What a great display that they are really taking your words to heart! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Miss Trayers, I can't get over your 15 boys. I can only imagine how tiring that could be. I have 14, but I also have 12 girls so the boy/girl ratio isn't bad.

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  3. Wow. That is awesome. I just think you are one of the greats.

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    1. Thank you Andrew. I'm very honored.

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  4. Wonderful, heartfelt post, Tammy. I am sorry that this is such a difficult year for you. I hope you can remind yourself when you are feeling defeated that you are the best teacher for these little first graders and their minds and hearts are soaking up what you are teaching them, even when it doesn't appear to be so. :)
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, thank you for having confidence in me and encouraging me forward. I do though wish for more Jane moments. They keep me going. :)

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  5. I am sorry your year is difficult. Those years are also so tough but I know they are also what makes us the teachers that we are. You are inspirational because you don't give up...you read, search, and try. Thank you for that.

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    1. Em, thank you for your support and kind words. I've needed lots of those this year. :)

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  6. I'm the new first grade teacher in an inner city school. Needless to say when the class lists were made, I got the majority of the students that struggle with behavior. I feel your pain. But I too have a little Jane that brings a smile to my face each and every morning. Sometimes, that's the only thing that's keeping me from packing up my desk and going.

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    1. I'm thankful you have a "Jane" too who reminds you to keep up the good fight.

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