Voices

So many voices.

Don’t worry. They are not in my head.

THEY ARE IN MY CLASSROOM.

But you asked for them, you say. They were quiet in the beginning of the year. They didn’t talk. They didn’t volunteer. They didn’t stand up for themselves. They didn’t take risks. They didn’t talk.

It’s true. At the beginning of the year, there were students who sat quietly while I taught. I encouraged them to participate. There were students who sat to the side. I encouraged them to step up to the front. There were students who watched. I encouraged them to speak up. There were students who knew things. I encouraged them to share. I encouraged them to use their voices.

AND NOW ALL THOSE VOICES ARE IN MY CLASSROOM.

And it’s really loud sometimes. And it’s really wonderful. And I get a headache sometimes. And it makes me smile. And they all start to talk at once sometimes. And I embrace the madness. And they all want to be heard.

THANK GOODNESS!

In order to hear every one of the little voices in our classrooms we have to sacrifice peace and quiet. Because once we get them to speak, we need to give them time to practice. Sometimes they practice too much. Then they need to listen. Sometimes they practice with too much enthusiasm. Then they need to calm down. Sometimes they practice as if they are the only ones in the room. Then they need to share.

And sometimes…

They share their inner thoughts.

They speak up for one another.

They agree to disagree.

They sing.

They speak their spectacular ideas.

We just have to encourage them. And give them space. And listen to them.

7 thoughts on “Voices

  1. Those kiddos are so lucky to have a teacher like you! I always feel dread when I walk into a classroom that is totally silent during what’s supposed to be “workshop” time. Thank you for encouraging your students to use their voices!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can hear the beautiful noise across the hall, and it is a beautiful noise. It is wonderful that you have nurtured a safe place in which your students feel comfortable taking risks and opening up. I like the way you describe how your students used to be, and where they are now. Its easy to forget the progress when we see the kiddos every day. Kudos to you for recognizing their milestones and appreciating them. Socialization – so important!!! Thank you for putting that to paper in such a beautiful way.

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  3. So. I clicked on your comment and zinged to trash-I know not why. I moved along to read a friend’s post about jonquils and daffodils and told her to send pictures. Back in my mailbox was a notice about your comment so I popped over here to your site…and…there are the very flowers at the top of your page. Amazing! And your Voices story is a wonderful reminder to me to not worry so much about talking and let them have more time to let their voices to be heard. 🙂

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