Push/Pull, Hurry Up/Slow Down, Reflect/Plan


Push/Pull, Hurry Up/Slow Down, Reflect/Plan

Oh, yes, it’s the “push/pull, hurry up/slow down, reflect/plan” time of year! This afternoon as we sat in our weekly collaboration time (all 5 classroom teachers, the EAL and SRT support teachers, the curriculum coordinator, math/assessment specialist, and ELA coach) I could feel the tension building. In one breath we were planning our end of semester common assessments and scheduling that in tandem with the MAP testing. On the other hand, a few minutes later we were looking ahead to next school year and deciding on our ELA units- what would be integrated with science and social studies, what order would we teach in, etc.

I always pause when I am feeling the stress on both ends like that to reflect on our students- they are surely feeling it too. We all feel the crunch at the end of the year to “get it all done”, but I have to remember that “it” sometimes matters very little. I want to keep in mind that some of the most important things won’t be tested this year- skills like friendship, collaboration, self-regulation, mindfulness, creativity and so many important characteristics have been grown and will continue to develop. I want to make sure that kind of learning continues beyond the school year. I want to keep in mind that the students need time- time to read, write, solve problems and more. This need seems even stronger at the end of the year. We all feel the pull and push, but we need to remember to slow it all down too. I have to remind myself to be in the present. I have to say that is a good place to be.

6 thoughts on “Push/Pull, Hurry Up/Slow Down, Reflect/Plan

  1. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski

    Excellent reminders of the priorities we need to have! I always say I hate the end of the year, the undoing of all we’ve done, the goodbyes, the bare walls, the stress and anxiety of all that has to be done. What you’ve shared here, Erika, is a powerful reminder that it is the students and the learning and their feelings that count the most.

  2. lisaorchard1

    I know what you mean about the end of the year. It seems to be the busiest time for my boys. I love how you put things in perspective though and remember that some of the most important characteristics can’t be tested. 🙂

  3. Dalila Eckstein

    Erika, I have yet to slice. Not sure I will slice. Still dealing with the demands of my day, which are extending beyond school…so I appreciated reading your thoughts on coming to the end of the school year. The best part of my day, every day, is my students. When I keep my thinking there, as you point out in your reflection, the other demands seem far less important, even as they are “demanding” my attention. Nice to hear your voice today and reflect on the cycles of teaching. I often think of you and your students when I am working with my students, or I am writing.


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