Slice of Life Tuesday: Coming into focus


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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!

13 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Coming into focus

  1. I love the way your repetitive phrase framed each paragraph, but yet the contents of each were so different. There is so much comfort in getting back into the routines and rhythms of the year.

  2. Oh yes. The shift towards our students. How they take over our whole world in such an exhausting and exhilarating way. I love how your repetition captures the rhythm you are trying to find within the diverse student experiences that surround you. Happy school year!

  3. “my students’ voices become the soundtrack to my thoughts” – I like this line. It is interesting how even with five days one can switch from summer pace to school routines.

  4. Loved everything about your “five days into the school year” reflection! There is something about a rhythm and routine for us all! I know you will have a fabulous school year and I can’t wait to continue to hear about all the goodness happening in your classroom. You are such a treasure to learn from!

  5. Love how this slice captures where you are with your students right now. I smiled as I read your words of transitioning from mellow summer days to clock conscious school days, the air traffic control mode, and the ever constant system overload. I’ve said it before, wish I could settle in for 6th grade in your room!

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