Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!
I haven’t celebrated with Ruth Ayres and her Saturday folks in a while – partly because I’ve been juggling so many projects, and partly because I sometimes feel as though in some ways I am swimming upstream and against an immovable tide all week – so there is little energy left on Saturday to celebrate. But I always check in to see what my friends are celebrating on Ruth’s site… their joy and positivism, especially about all the magic they make in their classrooms is infectious. I need that.
Yesterday morning, Carrie Gelson posted an absolutely wonderful celebration about a colleague, and about her kids. I could spend all day reading this post over and over again – it is a powerful reminder that as teachers we are there for our kids, to work together to create environments that push their thinking and nourish their souls. Reading Carrie’s post, I decided that I would push aside the week’s negativity, the things I am not able to control, and focus instead on what was achieved – the things I should to celebrate…even though it isn’t Saturday anymore (and I have a feeling that Ruth won’t mind):
Wrapping up a year of learning :
We spent Friday going over our learning year in writing-reading-social studies. There on the reading rug, sitting in our “let’s ponder and discuss ” circle, my kids shared what they considered to be the ups and downs of their year with me. I loved listening to their comments and suggestions, I loved how seriously they considered all that we had been doing, and I loved how they tried to view things from the teacher’s perspective – that they understood the serious purpose of our being together in the first place: learning.
How, even at the end of a long school year, even though they are tired of being in school, when I ask them to come together once more to think about important themes we have investigated in our final chalk talk, the classroom grows quiet and my kids get to work and think:
I celebrate my kids and their desire to learn.
Basking in the learning community in Room 202:
I am most proud of the learning community we become in our classroom – without that essential feeling of trust and support, we would not be able to write, read, share ideas, and grow new ones. Although I feel this spirit every day and in so many ways, it becomes so much more evident when it is finally time to make a list of “Where we’re from” ideas to create our end of the year poem – all the memories and threads that connect us as a group come together in one place:
Where We’re From
We’re from 202 and Smithlings,
from comfy chairs and study lunch.
From quiet reading times to
who we are and who we are
We’re from learning tools and learning rules
(of work hard, be kind, “turn it in”
and “be on time.”)
We’re from projects and writing,
from gallery walks and turn and talks.
From Reading Journals to “unpacking poetry” –
discovering ourselves through words
and what they can mean.
We’re from our sixth grade year –
from learning and sharing and
thinking, and imagining.
We’re from book clubs and Rice Krispie treats
from Red Kayak to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
We’re from books, books, books,
and talk, talk, talk.
From laughter and jokes,
and “I have five questions and six comments.”
We’re from the Slice of Life and Ms. Kaplan,
from stories we wrote and lives we shared.
We’re from “Sentence Smackdown” to Wonderopolis,
from things we loved doing,
and things we learned to (kinda) love.
We’re from “Smith is the name,
and teaching’s the game” to
“I will come after you with a wet noodle!”
We’re from worrying about lockers and lunch,
to wondering about who we are, and the people
we want to be.
We’re from friendship and forgiveness,
From being true and being kind.
We’re from a classroom family,
together for just a year.
From a time of making lasting memories,
so many of which make us smile.
In our room there will always be our pictures,
snapshots of all the moments
we’ve shared together.
We are from those moments,
even now…when we will say for one last time:
“Goodbye, and be well….”
I celebrate the learning community we’ve worked so hard to create.
Leaning on and learning from my online PLN:
I really don’t know what I would do without my virtual colleagues who share the books they read and love, and the learning experiences they work hard to create every day of the week. Connecting with each of them on our blogs and on Facebook and Twitter has enriched my teaching life so much. I wish I had each of you to walk down the hall to, a cup of coffee and the latest PD or YA book in hand. But, our online community allows me to peek into your classrooms in Denver and Dublin, discover what’s new in San Diego and St. Louis. And, our Twitter chats allow us to share insights and resources. I can always count on supportive comments when I blog, and (better yet) questions and ideas to push my thinking. When I wrote about using Google docs in my writing workshop, for example, Emily and Leigh Anne wrote back to say “YES! – but here are five more things you can do!” – instant PD! When I texted Rachel to ask if she’d be interested in collaborating over Skype this summer since she’s returning to teaching 6th. grade in her Denver school, she responded with an enthusiastic, “Sure! What do you have in mind and when can we get started?” All of you may not be next door and down the hallway…but sometimes it certainly feels like it!
I celebrate my virtual colleagues – thank you for always being there for me.