SOL #28 – Reflection and an Apology

My car ride home is quite a haul, but it allows me to reflect on the day.  Yesterday was one of those days, where among other things I lost my patience too many times. 

On my drive, all of a sudden it hit me why that one kid was shoving a book in my face earlier…

I was cranky.  I had a headache.  And one of my students held a book up to my face, fanning the pages, while I was trying to give directions to another.  I’m not sure exactly what I said, but it was something like, “Why is that in my face?  Go sit down.”

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Earlier in this day I had published a Joy List post on our classroom blog.  Do you see it yet?

It took me until the ride home, but I realized that he saw this.  He saw that I love the smell of new books. He saw that I was having a bad day.  He was trying to bring me joy.

He may not have gone about it in the right way, but he tried.  I owed him an apology.

And an apology he got.  I pulled him aside this morning, apologized to him and thanked him for trying to bring me joy.  He smiled, laughed, nodded and went back to work.  I think I am forgiven.

My kids may not always know how to express it appropriately, but they are good, compassionate young people.   I am lucky to spend my days with them!



End of Year Reflections

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.48.53 AMBest Memories

Many of the memories that stand out turned into blog posts.  One conversation with a very special girl.  Mentoring conversations with new teachersAnd a beautiful smile from a sweet child at exactly the right momentAnd major writing success!

Our class was filled with talented, intelligent, energetic students this year.  One student in particular, let’s call him Jake, was a very big joker and prided himself on being the class clown. So when he found out we would be giving out awards on the last day of school, he assumed he would be receiving the Class Clown award.  We couldn’t resist, we had to pull his leg…

“And the Class Comic award goes to….” (Student started to stand up, expecting it to be him.)  “Mrs. Stalter!” (My co-teacher began to bow and cheer.)

The student was shocked and appalled.  The class booed.  I let it go for a little bit and then….”Oh…wait….I made a mistake…It says Jake!”  The class cheered!  Jake came jogging up, arms raised, smile big.  We got him!

Missed Opportunities

Science…I spent a lot of time working on creating Science units based on NGSS, but then I didn’t get to finish.  I saved the Forces/Motion for the end, because it had the most opportunities for students creating experiments.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to finish it.  😦

Game Changers

Standards Based Grading.


A lot of my energy was directed at classroom management and teaching social skills.  Although teaching the whole child is always part of my day, a lot of our Social Studies time was spent teaching about bullying and empathy.    It was necessary.  Although the group has a long way to go, I think they are on the path to becoming kind, empathetic children.


At the beginning of the year, students created hopes and dreams for the year.  By mid-year, most had accomplished their original hopes and dreams.  I had planned on students reflecting and revising, but it never happened…



Next year I will have more patience.  Focus more on using positive language.  Continue to work on my math instruction.

This year was my most challenging and difficult year both professionally and personally.  I was at my breaking point more times than I can count.  Now that the year is over, I can say I made it and am stronger because of it.  Now it is time to recharge, relax, read, spend time with my son, and take time for me.   Summer…I’m here!