#1 Children were eager to talk to me as they entered the classroom each day.
The bell would ring; I'd walk the students to the class and open the door. And then . . . I would proceed to QUICKLY and EFFICIENTLY answer questions, collect notes, nod to parents, and gather everyone on the carpet to begin our day! You know the routine. Of course, that didn't allow time for those enthusiastic little voices who wanted to be heard. Hmmm.
#2 Parents also tried to get my attention.
As I opened the door for the children to enter the classroom, some parents would apologize for taking up my time, and others would try to tell me what they needed to say, as QUICKLY and EFFICIENTLY as possible. That concerned me. I wanted to give them my time, but class was starting. Another hmmm.
We all know that we never have enough time to complete all we need to do before class starts. No matter how prepared we are for the day, we always have those last minute details that we want to finish before class begins.
I now open up the classroom 20 to 30 minutes before class starts. I love that time of the day! The children know that I'm still getting ready for the day. Some help to get the classroom ready. We talk as we work. They love to do that! So do I! It's a visiting time. Others come in and use the computers, while others are on the carpet reading. They know that class rules apply, and I haven't had any behavior issues. And, yes, some children have no desire to enter the classroom early. Understandably, as much play time as possible is what they prefer.
This has made it possible for me to talk to so many more parents. Parents know that I will usually be available at that time. They can come in early to talk to me if needed. Sometimes we just chit chat. I get to know the parents better, and it helps me know what's going on in their children's lives. Parents drop in to visit the classroom and see what new things are happening. Some come in to read books with their children on our carpet. I guess you could call it a mini "Open House".
I'm still accomplishing what I need to do, the children have extra reading and computer time, and communication with the children and parents is better.
I just thought I'd pass this idea your way. I'd love to hear about some of your ideas that have helped with communication.
By the way, I wanted you to see these plants in bloom.
I saw them as I was walking this morning, and thought, "Spring's around the corner." Can't wait!
Enjoy your Monday!