Paradigms in the Classroom

–This months posts are part of the slice of life challenge from

A power struggle; the student refuses to complete any of today’s writing work.  I worry.  This will set him behind on our project.  He has options but he’s just refusing these choices.  The student is distracted by…books.  And I think:  It could be worse!

A conflict; A hallway disagreement spills into the room and a tough student says, motioning toward the instigator and myself, “Can the three of us have a talk, like, right now?”  He’s flustered, but honest.  And I think:  How incredible to be trusted to broker this peace?

A power struggle; the student struggles to work with a partner.  After discussion, the student and I agree, he will do better work independently.  And I think: What independence!  What a wise child to see his current limitations!  It could be worse.

Frustration; Students are not completing the assignment; they are taking shortcuts.  One student is my son.  I call from the other room: “Why did you only include 1 math vocabulary word?!”  A calm but exasperated voice says, “That’s how it (the directions) sounded.” We discuss my expectations.  My son replies, again with kindness, “Well you’re directions were terrible.  I’ll fix it.  But I’ll be the only one.”  He does.  He is.  And I think about how lucky I am to have this time with him…how three less vocabulary words on one assignment will be fine…how I do need to upgrade my written directions.  But, it’s fine.

It’s a work in progress, but I’m trying to shift my paradigm and to put things in perspective.

9 thoughts on “Paradigms in the Classroom

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      1. I just ordered it based on this suggestion!

        My son will be in my class next year. He is the poster-child of anti-love for school. I’m glad to hear there is some positivity to be found when your child is also your student. I’m crossing my fingers. And toes. And eyes.

        I love the perspective pivoting in this slice.


  1. I love how you see multiple perspectives and seem so calm and accepting of those different views! Yes, some frustration, but a variety of solutions are valued. And I second Melanie’s comment, you will love Colleen’s book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your perspective is so
    Positive as you do see the silver lining in these concerns. While I now it’s not always easy to do this, you seem to do it naturally and with grace. It’s a thought provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being clear is difficult. Voicing what we are thinking, explaining what is wrong (or right), giving directions to another get so muddied in how we see it. All of these issues come out in your post. All we can do is be open to all of it, and willing to grow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really love the structure of this piece, with the word or phrase setting the scene (A power struggle…A conflict…), a description, and how you choose the see the situation in a positive way. It’s a good reminder for teachers, and also such an interesting piece of writing to read!

    Liked by 1 person

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