Home > Reflection, Teaching > The ups and downs of six-year-olds

The ups and downs of six-year-olds

My class chatted non-stop through my 40-minute observation by the principal today…and kept right on chatting ALL afternoon.  They simply would not stop talking.  It was remarkable.  A force of nature.

By dismissal I’d plain run out of creative ways to get them to (briefly) quiet down.  So I just sat on the carpet (where I was trying to get them to sit, too) and put my head on my knees.  Immediately I had one girl stroking my arm, another running around the circle getting people to sit down, another jumping up turn off the lights and tell people to be quiet, and another (my non-English speaker) poking my leg until I looked up.  “You ok?  You ok?  You ok.  Good.”  We ended the day singing quietly in the dark, with three of my girls curled up next to me.

One thing to note here: the boys did not notice my despair, did not try to help, and did not want to sing.  I wonder sometimes if this reflects the disposition of six-year-old boys more generally, or if my group of boys has created some little subculture of boy-dom that is prematurely tough and self-focused.  I worry sometimes that the class might work better for the girls than it does for the boys, and maybe that’s my fault, but I think in student teaching my class actually worked better for the boys than the girls, so I don’t think it’s a gender-bias inherent in my teaching style.

In the end, for as much exhaustion and stress as the kids caused me today, we ended the day on a very nice note.  That’s the thing about working with six-year-olds.  Their highs are high and their lows are low, but neither lasts very long.

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  1. December 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Very true about the differences between boys and girls and the highs and lows of teaching. I hope the Principal marks you favourably. It is no easy feat for a relative stranger to teach someone elses class under supervision.

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