All day long, I have a little voice inside my head. Sometimes the voice tells me what to say or what questions to ask.
- “Now would be a good time to regroup. I think it’s time for a mini-lesson on _____________.”
- Ask them, “How do they know?” Try asking, “Why?” Hey, maybe a game of Challenge would help.
Sometimes the voice tells me to pause — to give the much-needed wait time.
- “Count to 10. Then follow up with a prompt.”
- “Ask the question and leave. Give him/her thinking time.”
- “Don’t say anything, don’t say anything, don’t say anything, Aviva. Just wait. He/she will know.”
Sometimes the voice tells me to not react.
- “Just walk away. The students will figure out the answer on their own.”
- “This is really not a major problem, Aviva. You don’t have to intervene.”
- “Take a deep breath. Count to 10. Keep your voice low. Keep calm. Everything will be okay.”
Sometimes the voice catches me just in time!
- Take today: it was an indoor recess this morning, and I had the students walk to their lockers to get their snacks. One student took off running. When she got back to the door, I asked her to pass me her lunch bag. I was about to say how upset I was that she ran in the hallway, as it was such a dangerous thing to do, and then I thought about this blog post that I read on Friday night. I stopped myself, and heard my internal voice give me the “my concern” words. From there, we both shared our concerns, and the student actually came up with a great solution to prevent the problem during the next break. Simple. Non-confrontational. Saved by that voice in my head.
- Take this morning: I didn’t expect my students to use the picture of the If You’re Happy And You Know It dinosaur to start creating their own verses. I thought that my Going On A Dinosaur Hunt provocation would get them singing and chanting instead. But the opposite happened, and I didn’t know what to do. I had already started writing, Going On A Dinosaur Hunt, so why not write a verse together? While the students helped me with this writing, the sitting time was too long, and the students that were eager to write a song/chant were already inspired. As we were adding the last few words to our chant, I heard my internal voice say, “Just let them go! Stop writing. Why didn’t you try writing an If You’re Happy And You Know It song verse together? That’s what they really wanted.” How I wish these words came about 20 minutes earlier!
I hope that others also benefit from that internal voice that prompts them with what to say or do, helps them reflect, and encourages them to make changes. I’m often convinced that “my little voice” is a combination of various members of my Twitter PLN, administrators, and colleagues that have helped inspire these “whispers of what to do.” Do you have a voice in your head? What does it say? How does this voice’s words of wisdom impact on your teaching practises? I’m grateful for the little voice in my head, the numerous people that have contributed to it, and the many internal reminders just when they’re needed the most.