I teach full-day kindergarten in a Christian school; we have a class limit of fifteen-- amazing, right?! The low student-teacher ratio is a blessing, but my number one wish is to have a larger class. At the moment, my class size is ten. There are days when I feel like a mother to a set of sextuplets and a set of quadruplets!
With a small class, familiarity can be a detriment. A few extremely vocal students have snappy tempers. They would like to have their own desks and work spaces--in other words, they would rather not share! As second semester begins, I am planning opportunities for this group to celebrate each other's talents and accomplishments. I will model the art of conversation with more thoughtfulness and deliberation. There is a possibility that I will change their table seats every other week, not every week, thus providing them with a longer period in which to learn cooperation.
Birth order dynamics have played a major part in our class dramas. In my group of ten, seven children are first-borns (five of these are "onelies"), two children are the youngest in their families with older siblings spanning more than six years, and one child is the youngest in his family. To see the whole picture, you need to know that nine of my students are girls...and that baby of the family?...he is the boy. I'm considering getting a master's degree after finishing this school year! :-)
In addition to a few more students (boys, please!), I am wishing for creative ways to promote patience, self-control, and lovingkindness. The Christmas break has given me much-needed time to pray for my students, to reflect on the joy they bring to each day. May 2012 be filled with dreams come true for all of you! Thanks, Lori, for allowing me to share my thoughts!