Dropping In #sol19
November 5, 2019
The beauty of my position as a literacy coach is that every day changes. Most days, I’m having big and little meanings discussing student progress, lesson planning, and literacy resources. My desk can be covered with half read books, dozens of post-its, and 3-4 different journals along with student work. My phone is filled with photos of text, student work, anchor charts, and a long, long reading list. As we add more intervention staff, my job is shifting away from every day commitments to specific children.
On Monday, my flexible schedule gave me the opportunity to cover for our breakfast monitor. Eight weeks into the semester, the students had it all worked out. Each knew what they wanted from the amazing array of choices from many varieties of muffins, cereal bars, cereal, bagels, cheese, and milk. They gathered at tables happily chatting or sleepily adjusting to the day. It was so fun to see the students in this casual atmosphere and interact, encouraging food choices or just asking about ones made. Wishing them good morning and asking about their weekend. Watching some from afar, noticing so much about their adjustment to the day. That time is ripe with possibility and perfect just as it is. I imagined bringing some books down for kids to explore or listen to. In the end, I was just so glad that this breakfast was available for students and wondered how many more would like the choice of Lucky Charms or a blueberry muffin to start their day. The students were pleased with their choice and I was so happy that we offered them abundant choice. One that didn’t emphasis that many may be receiving this meal free. Perhaps it’s the most choice they have. Today, that information wasn’t mine. I was happy to celebrate their choice and discuss their thinking. My heart was filled.
After breakfast, I had the opportunity to start the day with a third grade. They start the day with learning tubs, games, coloring, finishing work, recording small videos of their ‘work in progress’. It was delightful. Filled with a buzz of happy productivity, the students chatted amiably, eager to share their news, work, and ideas with me in this short fifteen minute transition. I remember the days that were filled with ‘morning work’. This morning work seems fresher, more student driven. The students asked after their missing teacher, but were content with my presence. When it was time to clean up to go to physical education, they were quick to get ready, cleaning up and moving down the hallway like champs.
After physical education, I administered the pre-assessment for their reading unit. We worked together well despite the change in their schedule and their teacher’s absence. They listen attentively and answered thoughtful, though this work was mostly newer to them as readers responding to writing. As they prepared for snack, their teacher returned to set the schedule right and continue their day.
We’ve come a long way… in such a good way. Choice and voice was present and available to students. Each was comfortable in the moments, in the change, in their own transitions. So much of this has nothing to do with literacy. If you think about it, students who feel comfortable making choices, self-directing, transitioning in a speed and way that seems natural, will make choices and self-direct in their writing as well. It’s just natural.