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Five days into the new school year, my kids are just beginning to come into focus. Those new faces are morphing into the children I will come to know and love (and sometimes be driven to distraction by, no doubt), the children I will spend days teaching and learning with.
Five days into the new school year, I feel myself settling into the rhythm of the school day. Those mellow summer days, days of choose-your-own-adventure, have given way to the clock-conscious school day. Every minute has some scheduled purpose, every hour has a long list of must-do’s.
Five days into the school year, I settle into air traffic control mode – monitoring those incoming signals (children talking/sharing/questioning/needing help) and outgoing signals (children drifting off/getting anxious). By dismissal time, I, too, struggle with system overload. That on-the-way-home stop at Starbucks for a double-shot latte becomes, once again, a habit.
Five days into the school year, my students’ voices become the soundtrack to my thoughts. I hear M. chatting about his struggle with reading, and G.’s ideas about where he’s stuck in his writing. I find myself parsing through what I’ve overheard and how that will shape my teaching.
Five days into the school year, I feel my sixth graders relaxing. They walk into our room without trepidation, smile and greet each other, sink into the comfy reading chairs and muse about what the day will be like, what soccer practice was like, what they hope to have for lunch.
Five days into the school year, I feel my teaching life come back into focus. I am glad to be back here!