Where The Wild Things Are

This blog is dedicated to Maurice Sendak and teachers everywhere who are bringing their school year to a close.

Where The Wild Things Are reminds me of teaching. You might be wondering, how?

Every year we get students like Max who make mischief of one kind and another. I invite you to reflect back over this year and think about your “Max.” What strategies and techniques did you use to help him or her find success and reach their potential? What did you learn about yourself and your teaching from Max?

His mother called him, “WILD THING!” and Max said, “I’LL EAT YOU UP!” So he was sent to bed without eating anything.

That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around…

Every year we plan how to set up our classroom. We plan how to create space for learning. How effective was your classroom arrangement? In what ways did your classroom environment create space for learning? What did you learn about your students and their learning styles?

And an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max and he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are. And when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws till Max said, “BE STILL!” and tamed them with the magic trick of starring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all and made him king of all the wild things.

So what was your trick? In what ways did you push your students to do their personal best? How did you reach your students’ individual needs? What do you want to keep in mind as you begin to plan for next year?

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

What were some of your most memorable lessons? How do you know those lessons impacted student learning? What were some things that surprised you about your kids this year?

“Now stop!” Max said and sent the wild things off to bed without their supper. And Max the king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all. Then all around from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat so he gave up being king of where the wild things are.

But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go- we’ll eat you up- we love you so!” And Max said, “No!” The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot.

As your year comes to a close and you wave good-bye to your students, take time to reflect on your accomplishments. In what ways did you impact student achievement? How have you grow as an educator? What do you want to be mindful of as you begin your summer vacation and prepare for next year?

 

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Jen Robinson

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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