The New Jersey LC would like to highlight our very own, Stacy Kasse. Checkout her great blog titled, Sharing is Caring.
Whenever parents ask me what they can do to find out what is going on in their child’s life, I always suggest they go for a walk. Just the two of them. Not a drive, too many distractions, not a shopping trip, but a walk..just around the block.
This year I decided to “walk the walk” and do what I had always suggested. Each day I have a Student of the Day. That student does almost all the jobs in our classroom from passing out papers to answering the phone to running errands, but this year I added something more. At the end of lunch, the student of the day comes to the staff room to get me and the two of us go off for a short walk around our school’s parking lot.I could have done this in the classroom, but that’s still “my” turf. I wanted a neutral ground, and I also wanted to stress a bit of exercise as talked.
To say this has been successful is an understatement. From the minute a little hand grabs mine (the girls always do this), the talking begins. My first question of “what did you do this summer” segues to “what is your favorite subject? what do you want to work on this year” and “how is it going? Is anyone bothering you? Any problems you want to tell me?”
The walk is over before I even know it, and my little munchkin goes running to the recess field where the questions come flying, “What did you talk about?” Even if they don’t share it with the other students, they have shared with me, and as I walk another lap around the parking lot, I reflect on what was said.
When the weather turns cold, I may have to change my plans, but for now, this “walking the walk, and talking the talk” is one of the best ideas I’ve come up with this year.