The first time I ever really stopped to think about the concept of ‘transition’, I was 18 years old, in college and studying to become an elementary school teacher. Prior to that, I’m not even sure that the word transition was really part of my awareness or vocabulary.
Sure, I’d made transitions up to that point. After 3rd grade, you go to 4th grade, then 5th and so on. I’d even made a big transition when I’d changed high schools and didn’t go to my neighborhood school, yet I don’t recall anyone naming it as a ‘transition’ even though I understood I’d have to adjust. I didn’t have a name for the adjustment or awareness that I could prepare for a change. It was my teachers and my parents who worried and carefully planned and prepared me for my transitions – not me.
Only after working on last night’s dream, did the insight arise that it’s not enough for me to just say matter-of-factly when someone asks, that I’m transitioning right now from one business to the next. I must take some time to examine my personal narrative around the very concept of transition for me to be successful.
And this leads me to do some dreamwork around ‘transition’
I’m in a classroom that also looks like some kind of temporary housing place I’d stay during my years of AmeriCorps service or dorm. Or maybe a converted church multi-purpose room. I notice a young teacher running around doing things nonstop on her feet – getting supplies, keeping kids orderly in line as they are about to enter the room. I then notice a drip stain on a couch, like from juice or paint. Must be a lot going on in here, I think. At the same time, I remember I need to pack to go home from my program or college (recurring dream feeling), and I start to open a chest of drawers and pull out clothing. At that point, I realize that if I miss the flight, I could just pay for the next one. That would be easy, I think. When I look up, I notice the teacher now has sat down for a meeting with parents. Meanwhile, the whole time, my daughter is sitting on a couch waiting patiently for me to finish packing.
As I edit this article, I find myself re-entering the dream to fill in the details, and meaning is unfolding as I write. The idea of a multi-purpose room makes sense in my life, because I am in a place of feeling that I have several purposes. Working out of my house, I have many things I am aiming to achieve, and very often my daughter is on the couch while I am running a business from here.
What is getting accomplished?
There is a lot of multi-tasking going on. I’m packing and watching my daughter at the same time, while the teacher has to manage children, get organized and be in a calm, relaxed professional state to meet with parents.
It didn’t even occur to me until as I write this – to ask myself, what is this teacher doing? Wait – now that I’m writing this blog article – I realize this teacher – is my teacher for transitions right now!!
Ok, now I’m psyched all the dreams are showing me to take a step back and learn from the master of transitions – elementary school teachers!! Especially since
So let’s go look up why transitions are so difficult and how teachers are trained to manage transition.
Tip for Teachers to Manage Kid’s Transitions
- Secure attention and focus.
- Explain procedure
- Prepare for signal to start
- Initiate the transition
Woah…so to properly transition, there are 3 steps prior to the transition? Oh shit… I realize I’ve been going straight to step 4 all this time. And day to day, I feel completely like step 1. I can’t seem to secure my own attention and focus, let along step 2 – explain procedure. What even is the procedure for my transition? And how do I even prepare for signal to start the transition?
According to ____, it says to build a bridge to students to follow. It’s a set of steps that are taught and modeled. Then you string together several mini routines into one main routine.
So I have this information, but I’m still wondering how I can use this early lesson on how to teach kids to transition from one subject to another applies to me – right now – in this moment.
Can I teach myself a routine of some sort? What is is that the teacher did in the dream? I didn’t see a smooth transition. I saw a tired person – organizing materials, rowdy kids – then a teacher meeting. And then the theme of time – getting to a plane on time.
There are converging recurring dream themes happening, and while at this very moment, I’m not clear on
after school program – 3 jobs early in my career
Let’s Google “tips for transitioning from middle school”
I could not figure out why 2 of my recurring dreams were combined.
There was definitely a theme to it – that seems to be emerging in my life. I see my 8 year old being left behind in 3 different dreams over the past 2 nights.
I am clear that my early training on teach kids transition has some kind of important value for me right now.
Even as I search for images for this post, most of them are of kids packing – ahh – makes sense. I don’t think I ever connected transitions at its basic level is packing up from one activity to go to the next. There is a need to pack up.
(add kid with backpack image)
So a transition involves knowing the time to allow enough time to pack, then leave in an orderly fashion to get to the next activity or place on time.
However, building on the dream from the other night – for the
There’s a lot of pressure to get transitions right. I remember as a teacher in training that I was graded on how well I did transitions. Where else in life do you get a grade on transitions??
But what if you don’t exactly know where you’re going next? What will get lost? The sense of lost time is exponentially increased, I would imagine.
Botched transitions are not only embarrassing, they’re lost time. If you save 15 minutes a day through more efficient transitions, that will result in 45 extra hours of instructional time per year. Therefore, shifting students from one task to the next is worth getting right..