Yesterday was one of those days. I was out of the house by 6:30 am and at school before 7:00. We are in the last steps of testing our English Language Learnings. The work is not hard, and the kids are great.
I spent the day hunting down students for make ups, testing 1 st and 2nd graders in writing (they took the test so seriously) and sorting through materials to be sure everyone is tested. It was an up and down steps day – all day.
We will pack this test up in a week and then turn around and begin the prep for the state math and reading tests. I am tested out! My guess is the kids are as well.
But this is not about testing – it is about the work and the thinking that a person puts into the day. It is about how thinking and organizing can tire a person out. I say the work is not hard but I am amazed at how many different directions a teacher must be thinking and what they must do to follow up and be consistent with their students and other staff. By the end of the day your mind is full and your body is tired from sorting it all out.
I came home to write and had so many ideas about what to write but could not get my mind to form the words to express them. Funny, it is usually the other way around. I have so often been at that spot where I am saying: ” I don’t have any ideas. I don’t know what to write.”
Tonight, it was the other way around. I just had no words to express what I was thinking. My mind had just stopped.
I wonder if our students often feel that way. They have worked so hard thinking about things they just can’t find the words to put down on paper.
I watched a 2nd grade (ELL student) do just that today. She worked so hard to understand what she was to do. Then she spent time thinking about how to say it in English. Her next step was to write it. She really tried but that meant sounding out the letters for ALL her words. It was exhausting watching her but she stuck with it. Two small stories later she had written to the best of her ability right now and was ready for a nap.
Our students work hard thinking and processing. We need to remember they need a mental break as much as we do. A good run/walk outside, a climb or a swing or a time to just kick a ball around would do us all good sometimes. Recess is always needed for all of us!