Before my third or fourth year of teaching, my principal asked all the teacher at our school to write down, on a sticky-note, a goal we had for the upcoming year. Something we wanted to work on, and something she could help us with.
On my sticky-note I wrote: HAVE MORE FUN.
I don’t think that is what she had in mind, but she stuck it up on her office window with all the other goals set by teachers. Each time I was in her office that year, I remember looking at my note and smiling.
I spend the year trying to have more fun with my students. The purpose of school isn’t to have fun, and fun doesn’t equal student achievement, but by golly I know that I learn more when I’m having fun, so I figured if we were all having more fun, that it wouldn’t hurt anybody.
I didn’t try to do anything fancy that year. What I remember is smiling a lot, playing a lot of Four Square at recess, sharing a bunch of books together, and trying to make each project we did a tad more fun than the one before.
I’m heading into the final quarter of my 12th year of teaching. Every day isn’t perfect, but most of them are pretty darn fun. I love teaching today more than I ever have. I probably work just as hard as I ever have, and I love the work. I love figuring out what my students can do, and what they need to take the next step. I love watching them find the perfect book, and I love watching them struggle with the imperfections with our country as we navigate our fifth grade American history standards.
I’m on spring break for the next week or so. When I get back to school, I think I’m going to find a sticky-note, and write: HAVE MORE FUN on it.
I’m not sure what you do, but I hope you have as much fun doing it as I do teaching.
I am a fifth grade teacher in Michigan. My life’s work is getting books into the hands of kids, and helping them fall in love with reading. If you are looking for ways to help increase book access for your readers please check out the book I co-wrote with Donalyn Miller: Game Changer! Book Access For All Kids. Check out my list of AWESOME 2019 Books!