Sunday, November 2, 2014

Celebrating Teaching

Discover. Play. Build.

I've been celebrating teaching and JOY in my life for a couple of years now. Concentrating on the good things in my life has changed my attitude in many ways.  I shared out Friday Favorites for awhile, and then Ruth started this lovely little community of celebration.  How much fun is it to spend a few moments with others and celebrating those little moments (and sometimes some big ones!).

So this month, I've decided to join a month long "Attitude of Gratitude" blogging challenge. I love that they have questions for every day of the challenge. I looked them over and already have some great ideas for writing (always a good thing!). And on the plus side, it fits right in with Celebration Saturdays and my OLW: ALOHA

Because yesterday my husband and I celebrated our youngest son's birthday with him at a Hawkeye football game, I'm going to combine two days in one. I think they go well together....

Nov 1 What are the best aspects of being a teacher?

Nov 2 What is one small delight in the day that you always look forward to?

Being a teacher is part of my soul. It's who I am. And the best part of it--my students, of course.
I love talking with them, connecting with them, and helping them become their best. Take A, for instance. Tall and skinny, head perpetually down so that his hair sometimes hides his face, he walks into my room most days and I can almost hear "Dead Man Walking" in the distance.  My class is his nightmare, his hell on earth. But he must have it to graduate. He's been doing his speeches for me out in the hall, away from the stares of his classmates. The last one he did, his best. He looked up at me, didn't stop when another teacher stopped in the hall and listened, and genuinely gave a good speech. We're working on his delivery one step at a time. Will he ever give a speech to the class? I don't know. But just getting him to look me in the eye is a major step.

My #Crazy8s are starting genius time in class.  These eighth graders are really smart. Most things come easy to them. My goal this quarter is to challenge them, their ideas and their learning.  Genius time is a start. I still have some who want to take the easy way out, but they're getting there.

This is also the class who groaned at personal narratives. So, we are writing "This I Believe" essays. And now they are groaning because these are HARD for them to write!  It's OK though. We're taking our time. Writing together. And seeing where this prompt takes us.

You know the moments of the day I love the most (and, admittedly, don't always get)?

Those moments in your room where everything is clicking and the students don't really "need" me. They are working hard, learning on their own and with each other.

One other little delight I always look forward to...walking into my room in the morning.  I love my room, it's my home away from home. It's comfortable for all of us. There are lots of different work areas--a place for everyone.

But the real little delights of my day. The little pop-in visits from students. Whether they come during my prep or after school or during a class. I love kids just stopping in to say hi.

Sometimes the conversations are longer. Juniors and seniors with open time drop in during my first hour prep because they know they can eat breakfast and get a little work done. Sometimes we don't talk, other times we chat about the inconsequential. It's quiet and peaceful and I love to start my day like this.

Others stop in to say hi after school and 45 minutes later, it's time to say good-bye. We talk about families, friends, school drama, and even politics. It's loud and giggly or sometimes quiet and somber, but always a reminder about what's important about my job.

My kids.


  1. What strikes me in this post is how much of your day is spent listening. You listen to your students in so many different ways: the student in the hallway, the groans, the feedback about how students feel about the work, the need for genius time, the moments threaded throughout the school day where some soul needs to be heard. And you are always there to listen. I love this about you.

  2. Great post! I forgot to join the blogging challenge. Oops. Maybe I'll jump in and out of it. :-) Maybe it's not too late...thanks for reminding me, and I love your answers!


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