One of the philosophies I have found resonating deeply with my teaching style is the idea of letting kids be kids. Instead of trying to fit them into the box of what "good kids" look like at this age, trying to meet them where they are and allow them to be free and untamed to a certain extent. I am by no means advocating the totally kid run experience with no structure. I tend to enjoy the "adventure guide" role where they give some inspiration and I meet them there with an activity. Although, I sometimes spend too much time fighting against the surf of their inner motions. Tonight, for instance, on our night hike they were a giggling, chatting ball of energy. I tried every tactic to calm the levels:
Looking back on the night I liked the success of using novelty to rein in that energy. I think I could have done more at the end of the field day to set the mood and dispel fears so they were more prepared for what we were going to do. The tug of war of wills will not be happening again. They are feeling what is normal and their expressions are telling me things about what it means to be a 5th grader from Lincoln elementary, in team rain, getting ready to go on a night hike.