The first two weeks have been for us teachers a time to gauge, orient, and discover. The students you thought you knew changed over the summer, the classroom you understood has a new dynamic, and the material is needing a new foil. We are gauging where the students are at, orientating them to the structure, and discovering where we can go.
The students come in from summer, a mostly unstructured time free from academic requirements, and into the school environment. The learning environment, that is worth anything, puts a demand on the student to grapple with concepts and practical skill development and it requires a more structured environment.
Adjusting to the learning environment takes a minute. As a class, we’ve got to be able to listen to an instructor, have materials ready to go, understand the expectations for the group to function, and feel that our learning environment is safe to participate and be vulnerable within. This does not happen overnight, but over what is called our “Transition” - two weeks of setting up the learning environment.
Our class (22 students) can get into line and be ready to leave the room in 8 seconds, stand behind their chairs and greet teachers when they arrive to teach, have their iPads charged above 90% at the start of every morning, can clean our classroom in 5 minutes, take attendance and pray at the start of each morning, can retrieve boots and coveralls from lockers in 2 minutes, know when snack time begins and ends, know when and how to use the bathroom, know the names of everyone in class, and they love their teachers.
The stage is set. Transition is over. School begins next week.