First Week: Day 2 - Centerpieces
Updated: Aug 13, 2018
You made it! The first day is officially in the books and now it's onward and upward to day 2. Practicing the procedures of circle gathering and behavioral expectations is really important before the difficult work begins. Don't skimp on these practice days - have them try it again and give feedback on what you expect. All the while, stay light, positive, and communicate the belief that they are capable students who can figure this out.
Here is an opportunity to be mindful about vulnerability and how circles may be perceived in your classroom. Some students will burst with excitement at the idea of having an intimate space to speak, and other students may feel apprehensive. If a student still refuses to join, let them watch from afar. Circles should feel good and important - so when they see how it operates, they will hopefully choose to join soon. Don't call attention to them from across the room. Asking them 1:1 if they will join or what feels wrong will help them trust that you are on truly their team.
Trust is delicate, and it is hard to come back from a mistake where your students' trust was broken. Be extra vigilant the first few days as you interact with the students. Social and emotional work depends on deep trust, and getting off on the right foot may be the difference between quick success or quick trouble.