Pushing the Season
August 7, 2017
Not sure when it happened but all of the stores have Halloween candy. The end of July, fall leaves and a few pumpkins started showing up. I imagine next week there will be full-on costumes.
I’m guilty as well. While I never completely step away from school during the summer, I make it a fairly hard rule not to actually step foot inside the building from July 1- August 1. This is a hollow promise as I read email, respond, and generally spend a few hours a day working on school related things. I’m not alone in this…
Paula Borque (litcoachlady) wrote a wonderful blog recently, Why I Want My Child’s Teacher to Vacation. Her point was that teachers need time to recharge, discover new things, and have separation from the students and their classroom. Read it for a more eloquent telling. Paula was standing near me at Heinemann last weekend when Vicki Boyd said that teachers need “a long cool drink” to refresh for the coming year. We do need it, but when the calendar turns to August 1st, we start thinking about getting ready.
After 35 years, it should not take me a month to get ready. In my defense, I was preparing for new teacher bootcamp next week.
All this anticipation of pumpkins, candy, and bulletin boards, made me think of my “new school year” resolution, let the students lead the learning. Let the students lead the learning. Anticipation is good. I want to have enough paper, pencils, markers, dry erase boards, seats, and sunlight for everyone. Let’s be aware and ready to get to know each of them as people and learners. Let’s design activities for the first weeks that highlight getting to know them, them knowing each other, and them knowing us. Let’s linger in that time because it will pay off through the months.
So this year, let’s keep our anticipation to a minimum. Let’s think about a unit of study, but plan a week or maybe even a day at a time. Let’s work in some time as Ralph Fletcher says in Joy Write for greenbelt writing, free range kids writing for the sake of enjoyment. Let’s go to lunch in the teacher lounge and chat with our colleagues. Let’s take our planning and visit each other’s rooms. Let each day be the day I’m thinking of and my thoughts of tomorrow are saved unit at least after lunch.
I’m not good at this. My grandmother would say I liked to borrow trouble. I am pledging to give it a go. Be warned the people in my radius, I’m going to encourage you to do the same, probably on a daily basis.
So take this week to enjoy the sunshine, a novel, a new discovery, a long walk. You’ll be better for it in December. I’ll do the same. However, you might want to buy some Halloween candy to eat right now. It’s a bargain.
In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.