Because Every “One” Deserves Our Best!

Twice a week, one of the teachers at the school offers prep coverage in our classroom. Instead of planning a separate learning experience for the children, she extends our classroom learning during this time. Sometimes when she comes in, I slowly make my way out of the room, but today, I quickly went to leave. At the door, I stopped myself though. Then I took a look around.

  • I watched as the students talked to each other.
  • I looked at where they were playing.
  • I looked at what they were playing.
  • I witnessed a few disagreements, and I saw what the students did to solve them.
  • I looked at those students that needed support and those that could work alone. 

At that point, I quietly closed the door, left the room, and walked into the staffroom. There were two other teachers there on prep and one EA that was finishing up her lunch. As we sat around the table, ate, and worked, we began to talk about students. Our conversation was not about specific students, but students in general. We spoke about meeting the needs of all students. That’s when I began to think about this blog post that I wrote a couple of years ago. It was about meeting all of our “ones”: each individual student — with each individual need — to ensure that he/she succeeds. This is not an easy task. Some might even argue that depending on numbers and needs, it’s impossible. The thing is, this is a goal that I’m determined to meet. 

Our conversation and this past blog post, forced me to reflect. What is working? What’s not working? Why isn’t it working? What could we change? That’s when I grabbed a piece of paper and a marker from the supply room (and yes, as surprising as this is, I did choose paper 🙂 ), and started playing around with some ideas. At the end of the 40 minutes, I went back to class, and shared these scribbles with my partner. We made a few more adjustments, and now, for tomorrow, we’re ready to give it a-go again.

This doesn’t mean that everything we’ve done thus far hasn’t worked, but it does mean, that we want to make things better. I think this is all part of the teaching/learning continuum. As challenging as it might be, we’re determined to provide our best for all our “ones” — the students deserve this! I’m so glad that I got an opportunity today to stand back, really watch the class in action, and engage in a meaningful conversation with some educators that probably didn’t realize just how much they helped me out. I also need to thank a friend and colleague from afar, that gave me a pep talk when I needed it most. Sometimes we all need to know that people believe in us. 

As I sit back at my computer tonight and reflect on the day, I can’t help but also wonder about your experiences. What do you do to meet the needs of all of the “ones” in your classroom? How often do you take the time to really observe the room? What changes do you make once you do? I’d love to hear more!


4 thoughts on “Because Every “One” Deserves Our Best!

  1. Aviva,

    I miss having a classroom of my own to observe and make changes to in order to meet the needs of the “ones”. I am spending lots of time in other teachers classes in my new role. There are times where I see “ones” who are doing very well and other “ones” who could use a little more support, guidance, encouragement etc. I not to step on any toes and attempt to meet the needs of those students while I am there. Sometimes it is as simple as a word of encouragement, other times it is removing the child to a quiet space for a break and discussion about self-regulation. I present my “wonderings” and offer support if teachers are interested. I am not always aware of what happens when I leave, but when the children stop me in the hall on my next visit to the school I know that my time with them has had some impact.

    I can’t wait to hear about the changes you put in place and what the results are.


    • Thanks for the comment, Sarah, and for sharing your experiences in your new role. Your comment reminded me of something important: as teachers, it’s very valuable to have some outside eyes to lend a new/different perspective to what’s happening in the classroom. This is what I’ve gained by working with the consultant and instructional coach. It’s good to remind ourselves that it’s not about “judgement” but about working together to help all of our students … and that will certainly benefit all of our “ones.” (In the past, my admin team has also been great at lending this kind of valuable insight and support, and I appreciate that for the same reason. Again, this is not about judgement, but about working together to help kids succeed.) I wonder what other stories people have about these kinds of connections.


  2. Hi Aviva, I make it a point to just stand back and observe everything happening in the room once a day (I’m .5 Kindergarten and .3 grade 1 this year). I try to take it all in! Last week I noticed how everyone shifted from one end of the room to another and this made my teaching partner and I wonder why…how did that happen…why did everyone somehow move to one side of the room? It was a good reflection of how materials and provocations were more directed to one side of the room and made us realize how students were drawing one another into their own wonders.
    Today, we observed a few children just wondering around the room and it also left us with questions. I have learned that simply pausing and observing leaves allows wonderful moments of reflection and planning with the children leading the way. When we approached the children that were walking around we realized they were overwhelmed with almost everyone being present at school today for the first time and also we were off a bit from our routine as we didn’t go outside due to planning time occurring the following period. It made us reflect on how today impacted the students and that we need to make a change. This reflection stemmed from just a minute or two of stepping back and taking it all in.

    • Thanks for the comment, Maggie, and for sharing your own experiences. Reading your comment made me think of my goal this year to “listen” more/better than before. You’ve definitely demonstrated the power of this here. I think that sometimes the impulse can be to intervene, and often we gain more by waiting, watching, and asking those key questions to find out more. It’s so valuable to be able to do this with a partner, as often I find that it’s our combined perspective that lends the most insight/helps the most. I wonder what others think (and what they’ve experienced).


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