But in the past few years of schooling, I've seen the normal rush of excitement at the new year's limitless potential get smashed in the face by the jackhammer of boredom. Students, teachers.. all excited to get things started reviewing common sense expectations and sucking out all the energy and enthusiasm for learning. Not the way I want to start the year off!
So, what are the alternative. This year, in an attempt to be "leaner and meaner" I streamlined my classroom expectations talk to about 25 minutes. I'm agog that this used to take me multiple days! I didn't hand out classroom expectations that my kids would pretend to care about while I expected them to "silently read to yourself as I read them to you." They've feigned attention, but I knew and they knew that was fleeting at best. After that first day, all my syllabi just became wasted dead trees. So no more! Instead, I summarized my expectations- thinking about calling them goals next year- while I forced my kids to doodle. I think doodling is a serious and important endeavor that just happens to have the misfortune of having a silly name. Here are the results.