Fitness is a funny word. I get quite a chuckle each time I see this meme. Knowing where to get a laugh comes in handy in this job. The trick is knowing when and where to fit it in?
Fit in itself covers a broad swath in its meaning as it ranges from adequacy/competence much like whether a premier is fit to govern or if a garment is the proper size. In legal spaces, the courts decide whether someone is fit to stand trial or have custody rights. When someone is upset they are said to be having a fit. When they are inconsistent, things are happening in fits and starts. When someone doesn’t play by the rules and norms they are often told to fit in or labeled that they couldn’t fit in.
Fit can also have a positive light around it such as, “They were a perfect fit for each other” or “all the pieces fit together so well”. When we are starting somewhere new, we always hope to fit in. When we need an appointment, we are always hoping to be fit into the schedule.
Not to be overlooked, fit can also describe someone’s physical or mental state, as well. So as the days of our 9th month in school wind down I wanted to check in and share some thoughts on fitness in order for all of us to finish strong in June. To no one’s surprise in my world, humour plays a huge part in how I maintain my mental health. Sharing it with my class has become part of our support of one another since the start of the year.
With so much happening in our world right now to crush the spirits of our students and fellow educators, humour, art, acts of kindness, and movement are my goto strategies to combat relentless tragic news stories, a pandemic, and the return of standardized testing. So how does that look in the classroom?
Before I share that, let me reiterate that there is no need, ever, for a head in the sand approach with my students when it comes to tough topics. On the contrary, active discussions about the goings on in our world, nearby and far away are crucial. I believe there is room for conversations for students of all ages. I believe there is room for them to share what they wonder, have heard, and think. I am wary when classrooms are not allowed to be open spaces of inquiry when it comes to the big questions on students’ minds especially when our students possess a world of information, real and fake, at their fingertips. It is important to let go of the control and comfort though. For some that discomfort does not come easy, but hey it’s not about you.
When we fit this work into our days, we tell our students that they are safe to ask when uncertainty abounds. In case you’re wondering. I am into fitting this into my days. Okay now back to what can only be expressed as a fitting conclusion to a year at the speed education.
- Lessons getting shorter. Connecting and applying concepts still continuing.
- Time to explore concepts outside of the boundaries and boarders of the curriculum being added.
- Collaborations on projects between grades(4 and 5) guaranteed.
- Time for exploring new learning with another self-directed inquiry project(Genius Hour)
- Student led social activities and DPA. They always know the latest and greatest vids.
- Organization of one more PAK (purposeful act of kindness)
- More time listening to one another.
- More time for the arts beyond our weekly schedule.
- Joke(s) of the day.
- Time to celebrate that each of our mistakes is evidence that we were trying.
Lastly, there is going to be an end of school in-class celebration to honour each student for their hard work. persistence, growth, and contribution to our class family. As exhausting as the lead up to June is each year, the satisfaction and joy from a job well done lasts far longer than any memories to the contrary.
Each day of this year has been physically and mentally taxing. I have eaten my feelings on occasion. I have been called grumpy from time to time. Mea culpa. I have also found time for a lot more personal fitness in order to combat those tougher days we all go through as educators. Whatever you do to keep fit, I hope it sustains you and gives you joy through the upcoming month and well into a restful summer.
If you see fit, please share what you are fitting into your classroom in June. Thanks for reading.