The same time every day, I felt drained. My students were wired and math time was like a daily root canal at the dentist office. I couldn't understand why my mornings would go so smoothly and my afternoons would make me a hot, flustered mess. Then, I started to pay attention. There was a reason why my afternoons were consistently off.
Instead of whining and complaining I took note of why the students seemed to be all over the place. Why they couldn't stop talking, fidgeting, staring off into space. The culprit? Lunch time. Because I was taking a lunch break the same time they were, I wasn't noticing how they were transitioning from one place to another. I didn't know what conversations took place, who was doing what in the hallway, and who was being disrespectful.
That's when I decided to make adjustments.
I decided that I would end lunch a little early to show up inside the cafeteria and see what they were up to. Something happened. I noticed that being in their presence completely changed their behavior and energy. I caught the restless, rambunctious energy before it entered the class. Now, math time is beautiful.