It is now 8:00 pm. I have just walked through the door and still need to get a SOL post written. Wait, I am retired – I am not sure what happened to the day but here I am as if I have been teaching full time struggling to get a few words down to share.
I can’t really complain – part of the late night was dinner with my husband, I don’t have to get up and run out tomorrow at the break of dawn but I did realize that once you step back into the classroom, if only for a little bit, it seems to take over your life.
The craziness of behavior was in full force today. It is the full moon tonight and the kids showed it in their behavior during the day. The struggles of ability levels, focus levels and emotional levels showed up in every classroom I walked into. Kids were poking each other, teasing each other, one 5th grader looked at another and a minute later one was in tears. I never did figure that one out. The third graders were fighting and several will miss tomorrow – it was felt they needed a day to cool out. Wow, I could keep going but you have heard it and maybe felt it today as well.
What I need to say is that through all of that stuff – I had two classes of 5th graders who wrote found poems, talked about line breaks a poet might make, found out about list poems and found a ton of interesting information about environments and biomes while writing. I talked with a group of wild fourth graders, who I was barely able to teach last week, wanting to know when I was coming back to do more poetry. The third graders stopped me to say they didn’t like that I was spending so much time with the older kids. They thought I was their go to teacher. (I volunteer and reserve teach in their room – their teacher is my daughter.)
So what I find is that even on the worst of day – teachers overly tired, the students fighting and unfocused there is still that little spark of wanting to learn something new.
I am not willing to say this spark is because I am such a great teacher – I really think it has to do with a new face (any new face), a different voice in the classroom, and the fact that under all the issues, fears, and troubles these students in high poverty schools have they still enjoy learning new things. They like seeing the world in new ways.
Learning does win out if we can just push passed the other stuff that seems to side track us day to day!
I know – easy for me to say now that I am on the outside – a much harder thing to keep in mind when you are there everyday with all the pressures that surround you. Just hang in there – they really do want to learn even when it doesn’t look like it.