On Friday I sat in the middle of our Writing Workshop with tears in my eyes.
I've mentioned before that my class this year is one of the most difficult (for a multitude of reasons) that I've had in thirteen years of teaching. There were moments not five weeks ago that I would sit and look at some of the chaos in front of me and think, Will we get there?
I have such faith in children, such a deep respect for them as important people, yet I don't always share the same faith in myself. I pretty regularly have doubts about my ability to manage that or organize this or develop curriculum for that...
The great thing? People around me do have that faith in me. Any time I was silently going over something that hadn't gone well, someone at school would have something positive to say -- something they'd seen me do, or important thinking they heard one of my students doing, or a kind, real act of compassion one of my students showed. I think that really helped keep refilling my reserve level of strength and faith in myself that I could help our class move forward, develop into the community I know we can become.
My friends, I really stepped back today and saw them. It was a beautiful moment, to be able to sit back and watch these children, purposeful and diligent (for the most part), getting to this work of writing.
One boy finally finished his book about interesting coins -- along with a table of contents that is barely readable to anyone other than a first grade teacher, but gloriously exhibits his own style.
Another girl put aside a story that was just not interesting anymore to try some humor. She always makes us laugh and decided to try her hand at that in writing today.
Benicio, who couldn't hear a lot of sounds in the beginning of the year and never left spaces between words, wrote a three page story about Halloween with spaces, many high frequency words spelled correctly, and punctuation.
So, yeah. If I ever had any doubt about the fact that we'd get there... I don't anymore. I certainly know that it's not going to be all wine and roses, but I see it now. I get it. We're well on our way.
And that's a beautiful thing. ♥