Have you ever read book after book and heard teacher after teacher talk about a strategy that is "the best," and think, "Hey, I should be doing that?"
And 9 times out of 10 those strategies work, because all these really smart researching people and all these really smart teachers have done all this research and all this teaching. They know what they're talking about, you try (tweak it here and there) and then love how it works for you too.
Phew…. thank God I figured that out before it was too late.
Have you ever done this and it just doesn't work? And then think (over and over again) what am I doing wrong? What else can I do?
This is me and teaching from the magical teaching carpet.
I literally #canteven
I have tried and quit, then shortened my lessons to keep their attention on the carpet…. and quit again. Then tried shortening my lessons even more (we're in the 7-10 minute range here people) and then quit again. Then kept my lessons short and tried a seating chart… and then quit again…. Then danced like a crazy person to keep their attention and stamina during the 7 minute lesson next to a person who they would never even think of talking to in any other situation…. and then quit FOR GOOD. I am done with the carpet.
I used to feel guilty about it, but I don't anymore… it just doesn't work for me… and I think I gave it a pretty good chance (no offense carpet… we just aren't meant to be).
I have circle tables, that hold four students into perfect groups, where they can teach each other (pretty sure today's average fifth grader is smarter than me anyway).
I have to constantly remind myself to walk around the room, but I'm better at that than maneuvering around 24 medium sized human being booby traps on the carpet to get to the two students who always lay down on the carpet while you are teaching (I don't know how you people do it… also, how are they so flexible?)
I also have to be very intentional in how I allow my students to move so their bodies get a break from the chairs (and don't lay down on the floor next to their chairs anyway).
I have to make my lessons engaging…. like all good teachers do… (also why I stopped teaching from the carpet). My lessons require notebooks, and scissors, and glue, and markers, and writing, and whiteboards, and talking in small groups… and everything else I love, that 10 years olds and I just can't seem to figure out how to transport to the carpet in one piece without someone losing an eyeball or top of a gluestick (not necessarily in order of importance).
So there you have it. I don't teach from the carpet. I don't feel guilty about it. And I don't think I (or you) should feel guilty about anything that works for you and your learners.