So I was just doing a little light reading in the Florida Center for Reading Research’s teacher guide for K-1 reading instruction. Yes, fun stuff, I know. Anyhow, here’s something that jumped out at me:
The intent of managing transitions is to protect instructional time. It is important to keep a quick pace when transitioning between centers. Instill set routines and expectations for changing centers, putting materials away, and cleaning up center areas. It is important to use this transition time effectively.
Transitions get hairy, especially when they involve children. Why? Because there’s nothing settled; everything is up in the air; it’s wide open, and there are all sorts of options, and no direction, and chaos can erupt pretty fast.
This tends to happen, also, with adults in transition. We may know what we’re supposed to do next, or what would be best to do next, but in a transition… things get hairy.
We’re cleaning up, or putting away, or commuting to the next thing, or shifting gears, or whatever… and in that space, we can lose all focus, all direction, and we see all sorts of options.
Not all the options are good, right?
I hate extended transitions. Ohmygoodness, hate them. You know, like the month-before-you-move transition, when you’re packing and decluttering and just surviving until you actually move so you can have Real Life again? ICK.
And I don’t even like little transitions, much, when they’re extended beyond the absolute minimum needed. Maybe it’s just because of the kids. Once we get them ready to go out the door, we gotta go! before somebody tips over the box of toys, somebody else spills the cup of milk, somebody else plays in the toilet, somebody else loses a shoe.
But with myself, making a transition between, say, between putting the kids to bed and getting some work done… I can waste a lot of moments in transition. And yes, sometimes you need a Break. But a Break is not the same as a transition. A transition should move you as effectively and efficiently as possible from Activity 1 to Activity 2.
Lingering in the middle, without a plan, pointlessly, aimlessly, just because you’re procrastinating or unsure or indecisive about how to start Activity 2… that’s blech. It doesn’t give you the downtime, relaxation, aaaaaah of a break. It just makes you feel kind of, I don’t know, more tired. And crabby.
Or is that just me?