Yesterday, I got my classroom keys. Now, time feels a little bit tighter.
Mornings now include a stop at school to drop something off, run a few copies, check in on the status of my room (is the carpet cleaned?). Classroom supplies are the focus, grocery shopping an afterthought.
Yesterday, my errands included a trip to JoAnn’s. I entered telling myself: Just. Choose. The. Cheapest. Fabric. You’d think after years of teaching, this would not be a big deal. Yet, I stood there debating. I know this fabric will disappear once we start generating charts, and still, I stood there, thinking. Purple? No, blue. Red? Too much. Does orange make you hungry? Silly. I walk out with a blue nondescript fabric. Ah well, I accomplished the cheap mandate. Total cost translated into the cost of one paperback book.
Yesterday, I got my class list. Now, the abstract of planning had children’s faces attached. The list included names of former students’ siblings, a boatload of neighborhood kiddos (even though I’m teaching magnet students that come from around the district), names that come from diverse heritages. These are my kiddos for the coming year. The ones I’ll find books with and for, the ones who will design contraptions, ask questions, and write a lot. These are the ones that will make me smile and test out my ability to lean into who they are as humans.
Yesterday, I read Jess Lifshitz recent blog post on how she plans to begin her year. Her post and Carla Shalaby’s book Troublemakers, has me thinking about questions to ask on our first day; how to establish a classroom that honors each others’ needs. A room where we could, in Shalaby’s words, “create a parallel world — a world that is safer, fairer, freer… the world we want, hope for, dream of, rather than the world we have now.” A world to learn, grow and if needed heal in.
What if, we open up and ask kiddos to think of ways to live and learn together. What if we listen for each other’s goodness. What if we can make this classroom, not like school, but like learning.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Thank you for this place that gets me to writing. Read more posts here.