Today was one of those days when I sit back after "my people" leave and am just grateful for the wonderful group of kids I have...
Earlier in the day one of my petunias wasn't feeling well...knowing she isn't a complainer, I talked to her a little bit and started filling out a pass to send her to the health room. As I was writing, I heard her softly say "I'm dizzy..." turned and watched her eyes roll back and she collapsed. Fortunately, I was able to catch her and ease her to the ground. Only a few kids were nearby--I sent one across the hall to get help, another to get pillows from the reading area...and for the next 15 minutes, my students carried on with their small group work, minded their own business, and let me work with other staff to take care of the ill child.
No one freaked out. No one commented. No one interfered. After we got her safely on her way home, we talked and I told the students how proud of them I was--that no one panicked (included myself in this one, thank you very much!), no one was a nuisance, and everyone who needed to pitch in, did. I told them how nice it was to be able to count on them to continue with their learning when I was indisposed. "Well, we knew right what we were supposed to do!" said one.
And that's what struck me...when kids know what to do, they can do it. We have worked hard to get our classroom community to the point where they DO know what is expected and they can take care of business. I believe it was Richard Stiggins who said "Kids can only hit a target if they can see it and it is holding still." (or something to that effect) and I know it to be true--for academics AND behavior. I'm still bringing them cookies tomorrow. They deserve it.
(And my little petunia is home and resting fine...looks like a bug and nothing more)