Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Through The Looking Glass

A week later, and I am still reveling in the experience of having Christy in my classroom. I've tried writing about it, but the right words just haven't appeared.

But, I'm going to try one more time.

Seeing your classroom through another's eyes

Nerve wracking, intimidating  What if she "looks behind the curtain" and sees I'm really just a crappy teacher? What if she thinks I don't really do anything all day long? Why the heck does she want to see me?

Seeing your classroom through another's eyes

affirming, exhilerating It was a validation of sorts. I must be doing something right.

Seeing your classroom through another's eyes

fun, wishful  Someone to laugh about the goings on of silly girls and crazy boys. Someone who talks books like I do. What a great room we would have together.

As soon as I walked through the motel door to pick her up, I felt like I'd known Christy forever. There was an immediate connection. Have you ever felt that? Knowing from the first minute that this is a person who you commect with, who will be/is an important commection in your life?

That's what it felt like with Christy.

Normal. That's what it felt like to have her in my room. Like she was meant to be there. We have often commented we wished we taught across the hall from each other. Now I wish we team taught a class. It was fun to introduce her to my classes. In each there was a look of disbelief that 1) she drove six hours to observe our classroom 2) Christy and I hadn't "met" before that morning.  The looks were priceless. We'd just look at each other and laugh. It's hard to explain to others how you can be friends without every having met face to face.


Where we talked about what Christy saw in my room. Things I didn't know I did--she makes me sound so wonderful. I don't always feel so wonderful. I don't feel I intentionally do some of the things she saw. But I know I do them. They just don't seem so amazing on a day to day basis. But when Christy pointed them out, I saw those moments through someone elses' eyes and I realized sometimes I get it right. Although my room usually loud and crazy and may look like not a lot of work is getting done, sometimes that's just what it takes.

So a week later, I am more intentional in the things I do in my classroom. I'm trying to remember all those little things. I'm letting kids settle in, I'm giving them time to think and write and share. I'm laughing and enjoying them more. This visit came just at the right time in the year--right at the end, when patience is wearing thin and it's easy to say "they should know this by now."  They don't know this. They are kids, just like they have been since the beginning of the year. MY kids. And we'll work the way that fits us best.

And can you tell I'm still thinking about all of this? The words still don't make much sense. I'm not sure I've shared anything with all of you, but the reflecting will keep going.

And in the meantime, I think I've got some visiting to do...


  1. I know what you mean when you said you felt like you knew Christy. I had that connection when I met Kim and Jee Young. What a wonderful day to have with a fellow slicer.

  2. I love this description, Deb! The three different perspectives on the visit, your insecurities, the way you are now mindful of things you always did that she pointed out... just wonderful! I wish I could see your room. I wonder how you balance being comfortable with being engaged... I feel like I struggle with this. I don't want to come down too hard, but some days it feels like pulling teeth getting students to work, and I wonder if I've been too nice... I like your reminder that they are just kids, and we should enjoy them. I will try to remember that here at the end of the year.

  3. That time was surely a great gift!

  4. I am thrilled that it was worthwhile time for you too! I am still feeling inspired by the possibilities that live inside the walls of your classroom (and spill into your cozy sitting area and down the hallway).

    I am overJOYed that I had this opportunity to meet you in person, to see your incredible work with kids firsthand, and to top it all off by meeting the fabulous Miss Chloe!