Slice of Life Tuesday:Listen

The day back from winter break.

Children move around the hallways and classrooms exchanging their holiday news: where they had traveled, what gifts they had received,  whom they had seen.


The air is punctuated with laughter, squeals of delight and disbelief.

Winter break, it seems, was a happy time.

But, under that exuberant  happiness, there flutters an undercurrent of sorrow.  I see this in averted glances, downcast expressions, a quiet disengagement.

These are children who may have shuttled between two homes for the holidays, or perhaps didn’t get to see one parent at all.

These are the children whose holidays were filled less with cheer than with worry: money worry, sickness worry, family worry.

But, in all honesty,  these are the children I most love seeing  again – the ones I open my arms wider to embrace, the ones I open my heart wider to find patience, the ones I lean in closer to listen to. The holidays can be sad and lonesome times…back to school routines is a relief.

And yes, tomorrow will be a better day.


22 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday:Listen

  1. Tara – how lucky those student are to have you in their lives. These are the dispositions that are caught not taught in our classrooms. No lesson brings this to life — just humanity and the time to listen and be present. Thank you for sharing and reminding us to listen.

  2. Not all, children or adults, have those ‘sung-about’ happy holidays, so true. Many of our students are happy to return to the safety of a “known” schedule, safe people, etc. You’ve described it well, Tara.

  3. That quote is perfect! Many times we have voices in the room that use no words. Sometimes those voices are the loudest if we would just listen.

  4. Oh, Tara, it’s heartbreaking. There’s a quote… children who are loved at home come to school to learn. Those that aren’t, come to be loved…. or something like that. Thank goodness they have you.

  5. I actually had a little student tell me he missed me over the break. How sweet is that! Those ones who need a little extra love, a silent kind of listening, are important to notice. I’m sure they missed you, too.

  6. Oh, I know many of those friends all too well. And those are the same kids that accept that embrace with even bigger open arms. They are so thankful for being missed and welcome the structure and routines of school. Love how you captured this, Tara.

  7. Love your listening to those who may not speak, but are glad to be back with you. Thanks for reminding all of us that winter breaks are not jolly for everyone, and for being alert to their unspoken needs through your open arms, open heart and listening ears. They are lucky students to be in your care.

  8. Tara, thanks for registering with us the behind the scenes, real stories that come back to school with students. Holidays are not always filled with dreams and wishes. For those who are in need of a listening ear, the teacher who pauses is a support.

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