Write. Share. Give. Join the March Slice of Life Story Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers
Yesterday, a teaching hero came to visit my classroom…Vicki Vinton:
who brought with her a team of sixth grade teachers from the Cranford, New Jersey school district who were interested in seeing a reading and writing workshop in action:
What does it feel like to have a teaching hero right there in your classroom, in the midst of a regular “it’s sixth grade and anything can happen” school day? It’s nerve wracking…at first. Then the bell rings, my kids walk in, and it’s just another day in Room 202.
I’m still processing this visit, and reflecting upon the questions these educators asked about my practice. I’m still playing out scenes from our morning together, and trying to “see” what our visitors saw.
Here’s what sticks with me, though, above and beyond anything else-the way my students responded to having visitors in our room: with confidence, and pride. I was moved when they came in a bit early to check and make sure “everything looked just right”, I was touched by the way they shared their work and their thoughts when asked, and I was impressed with the way they carried out their work and routines – our day was still about learning, no matter who else was in the room.
It is March, after all, and many of us are school weary – the children, especially. From time to time, I take for granted the progress my kids have made from their first days in Room 202 when there were many routines to learn, and (seemingly) impossible standards to live up to. But, watching them move smoothly from task to task on Wednesday, and seeing how our visitors were taking note of this, I came to have a deeper appreciation for my kids. This ease and confidence was born of hard work, mistakes made and learned from. They had to learn new ways, unlearn old ways, and make habits that stick. We had some difficult times, and some days looked pretty hopeless. Still,we persevered, and somewhere along the journey from September through June, we made the turn. We must have felt this and acknowledged this in some quiet way…but I don’t remember the where and when.
Isn’t that the story of every school year? The intentional becomes the instinctive: we have become the class we set out to be.