Thursday, December 15, 2016


I'm at school and the room is quite cozy.

It's been a busy, but mostly wonderful day.

The children sang beautifully during the chorus concert. Most worked diligently on math study too.

There was a moment of serious conversation about the fact that good learning doesn't come without practice and one has to sometimes put their pride aside to ask for help when they don't understand. Questioning is a sign of intelligence, and we also have to let our classmates and friends go through some productive struggle in order to learn too. We can't just give them the answers.

We're learning lots of content, and we're also learning to learn.

The next few days essentially mark the end of the first chapter of the school year. Children are a busy team now, working and learning together. We've already done a lot since September.

The changes in staffing, priorities, and curriculum continue to occur, but many recent changes are now somewhat understood and embedded into our work.

I wish every afternoon could be as peaceful as this one. Time is critical to educators. Our time-on-task is so intense each day as we work mostly with large numbers of children all the time. Many teachers will say that when they're out of school, they look forward to the quiet and peace--a time to think, relax, and be with their interests, thoughts, and loved ones.

It's also been a disconcerting time in the world. The horrible violence we hear about in the news is atrocious and frightening. The disruption with regard to our country's values and freedoms has been worrisome too, and the new President-elect's hurtful rhetoric and worrisome decisions add more to our plates too as we wonder what we need to do to support the America we know and love--an America where everyone is free to take advantage of the rights and privileges we have always known and valued.

Today's reset is one of backing into this nest of a classroom I've created with colleagues and students--a safe place for learning, share, joy, and challenge too. Every day is a new day here, and I can't forget the value that this is to my life. As for all the extraneous efforts, directives, impact, and challenge that circles around me and my work each day, I'll have to pick and choose with regard to what's most important to consider and what can be left aside for the time being.