One Sunflower

Ginny’s norm

on December 13, 2011

Last spring, when our primary teachers gathered for a work session that became known as “the Summit,” a veteran teacher volunteered to begin by reviewing our norms.  She ended up adding one of her own.  Her wish was that we, her colleagues, be the kind of students we all want in our classrooms:  curious, eager learners, working to increase knowledge and performance, listening and supporting one another.

Our staff continues to have uncomfortable meetings as we wrestle with teacher performance standards, trying to describe goals for ourselves and our students, seeking supporting evidence that demonstrates success.  While we stretch and pull and poke each other in the process,  I find myself reflecting on “Ginny’s norm” as it has come to be known.

Feeling the frustration in the room I think about my students – the youngest in the school with the farthest to go – and conjure my inner 4 year old.  A preschooler has no concept of bottom and top, beginning and end, success and failure.  It is just an exciting journey everyday and a whole body experience. The only request I hear from these children is that they have a friend to sit with.

That’s a nice norm too.


8 responses to “Ginny’s norm

  1. grade4wizard says:

    Curiosity and joy keep teachers young and learning. And friends keep you smiling and going. Good reminder.

  2. Ruth says:

    A friend to sit with…perfect.

  3. Sometimes we can learn a lot from a 4 year old! Thanks for sharing your reflecting.

  4. Linda Baie says:

    I can feel your own frustration and your wish to keep it real & to keep it simple, right? Like can’t we just have friends? When a group has to choose certain ideas sometimes I think words get in the way. You all probably want the same thing, but finding the words to agree on is a whole different challenge. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. elsie says:

    Difficulties are always easier when there’s someone by your side (especially at a school meeting).

  6. Donna Smith says:

    Now, I’ve always had a problem sitting beside my friend! I tend to act like a 6 year old and need to remind myself to pay attention!

  7. Betsy says:

    I love Ginny’s norm. I too wish we could all remember to be curious and eager learners. Learning is suppose to be fun and challenging!

  8. The last line resonates with me “they only ask for a friend to sit with”. Learning is always easier with a buddy.

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