I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

being "on"

It's amazing what being "on" for several hours in a row will do for my subconscious. For people that might not be teachers, I define being "on" as: managing a classroom, observing kids all the time, intervening when something is about to happen, teaching lessons, asking questions, handing someone a squeezey ball just before they're about to flip, adjusting the rules to a game to make it more accessible for a student, writing a word upside down to model for a child who needs it, and about a zillion and one other things that a teacher does in a single day (sometimes in a single hour).

Being on for a full day is exhausting and awesome and awful in lots of different ways (and I have another half-written post about it), but for this post I've been thinking a lot about some of the positive aspects of it.

Here's one: over the past week or so I've been dealing with something really difficult in my personal life. It's big and sad and I think about it a lot at night and on the weekends. But during the school day I just don't have time. My students walk through the door with stories and smiles and when they're there I kick right into teacher mode. I don't even mind teacher mode -- I like it! I like hearing these stories, laughing about someone's dog getting out when they're trying to give him a bath. I like pulling groups for guided reading and watching my students read and work on fluency and expression. I like conferencing with young writers, marvelling at how their handwriting and spelling can change in such a short period of time, laughing at glorious word choices, and watching them think seriously about how to make their book clear enough for another person to read. I like watching them wrestle with math concepts and try things that don't work and then try again and again.

I like teaching.

Then, at the end of the day, when I'm exhausted and smiling with a new student story from the day, I realize I haven't spent any time obsessing about what's bothering me. I realize that these children have given me an amazing respite from difficulty.

For that, I am overwhelmingly grateful.


Anonymous said...

Aren't children amazing! Sometimes they give you a hug or a little note at exactly the right moment! :)

Michelle said...


We are so lucky for the many things we get out of teaching, and what you wrote about is one of the biggest benefits when regular life gets hard.
I'm so glad they helped you last week.
:) Michelle

Karen Greenberg said...

I am SO with you! The last couple of weeks I've noticed that I am grouchy and frustrated. At school, however, I am not the same. I've come to realize that being "on" gives me a chance to hide from my issues for awhile. I know I need to handle the issues, but it's nice to be able to have a place to get away from it all.