We are approaching the last day of school before the holidays. I think that most students and educators alike are getting excited about the time off and the chance to re-charge. Most teachers will tell you that the last week before the holidays is one of the hardest weeks of teaching. With many school-wide events, and often special activities happening in the classroom, students are usually louder and more unsettled. Students with special needs often find this week especially difficult, as the routines that they crave have changed.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m like these students. I may try to keep regular routines in the classroom, but I can’t change school-wide events. Sometimes we just have to join in and embrace the craziness.
Today was our holiday assembly. It was amazing! Marco, one of our intermediate teachers, coordinated the schedule, and our vice principal, Gord, helped everything go smoothly. The students did an outstanding job as they shared singing, dancing, and dramatic performances. I know that everyone loved watching friends and siblings perform, and there was an excited hum both inside and outside of the gym.
I have to admit though that assemblies for me are a struggle.
- There is a lot of sitting and listening.
- It’s busy.
- It’s loud.
- There is a lot of movement.
- There is a lot of multi-tasking: watching the students, watching the performances, and getting prepared for our own presentations.
Usually I get overwhelmed. Today, I tried a new strategy: I decided to look for all of the positives. This helped me focus my attention, and in a good way.
- I saw incredible student performances.
- I saw that there are teachers, EA’s, and DECE’s at Dr. Davey with a lot of talent.
- I saw students working hard at listening, focusing on the performances, and being great audience members.
- I saw great camaraderie between educators, students, and administrators.
- Through a few quiet conversations during transitional times, I got to make connections with some new students and develop even better connections with some current students.
- I saw “differentiation” happening during the performances themselves — both on the stage and off on the sidelines – to ensure that all students met with success.
- I got to step out of my comfort zone and participate in the Primary Teacher Performance. In 14 years of teaching, I’ve never done this before! It was scary, exciting, and fun … and helped make for a great end to the assembly!
Lots Of “Positive Parts” In The Assembly – Click On The Images To Enlarge Them
My previous principal, Paul, used to speak about the importance of “staying positive.” Over the years, he’s helped me set some “positive goals” of my own. While I’ve tried to stay positive in other situations, I’ve never approached assemblies with the same positive attitude. I think that in different ways, assemblies have always terrified me, and being “positive” means moving past the fear. I’m glad that I attempted to do so! I was still somewhat overwhelmed, but ended the day happy. Today’s assembly even helped put this “Holiday Grinch” into a somewhat festive mood.
How has being positive changed your experiences? How do you remain positive when it seems hard to do so? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Let’s end things tomorrow on a nice, positive note before the start of the holidays!