December 18, 2018
I haven’t been in my regular routine for weeks now. In the last weeks, everything about my everyday was disrupted and I found myself suspended, timeless and placeless for a number of days. I moved forward, but the movement was unfamiliar. I breathed in and out, but the air itself seemed somehow different. I was amid very familiar people but every action we took was far from familiar.
I returned after this week feeling unsettled. My day to day routines seemed unfamiliar and returning to them seemed like that turbulent bump when the plane wheels hit the tarmac, the jostling bounce, the rush of air, being thrown backward.
I entered the soft glow of the school early morning light. You know it. Silent halls, familiar hums, shiny floors. Still tenuous in my entry, i walked down the hall to the literacy center just as I left it, The pregame ritual rushed back and enveloped me like a warm sweater. Preparing for 2nd grade student work. Meeting with a first grade teacher. Emails. Mail sort. the hum of the heater in the light of my desk lamp.
Then the real comfort began. Wrapped in the favorite comfy sweater of my colleagues support and routine, I began my day. Strategizing about the game plan for this week before vacation, transitioning from a unit to an upcoming one in third grade. Goal wording for an upcoming literacy plan. Discussing vowel work in first grade in the happy confines of a teacher’s classroom before school. Drawing little maps of ideas and pouring over student writing. Asking questions for ideas. Moving on to reading over writing projects with seven and eight year olds, hearing what they’ve learned about dogs and spiders. Enjoying partner reading about cat and dog negotiations. Having a listen to third grade reading as we think about what next in instruction.
And in between, gentle smiles, an arm rub, a kind word. Cards and flowers and genuine caring. This is what it means to belong to a teaching and learning community. Connections lingered. Cookies on the counter. Routines cherished.
I write in the company of my fellow travelers within the Slice of Life Community. Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for forming this group.