Celebrate this week: Appreciation

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Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!

This was Teacher Appreciation Week, and my kiddos celebrated their teacher (me!) in adorable ways: chocolate, hand made cards, post it notes, and a whole class effort at summing up what it feels like to be a Smithling:

I loved every moment of this, and it would be safe to say that I allowed myself to bask in their affection and this momentary glory.  I teach sixth grade, so adoration never lasts long, anyway  – they were back to rolling their eyes and sighing deeply before too long!

The celebratory note of this week had less to do with me, I believe,  than with my students themselves.  They were celebrating, really, the community our classroom has become: the way we know each other, warts and all, and the way we work together.  Not every day goes smoothly, and we experience many frustrations along the way – collectively and personally.

At this time of year, when our days together are dwindling fast, it is easy for me to dwell on the rockiness of the journey that is a school year.  I find myself thinking most about all that is left to do, all that (quite honestly) will remain undone.  Leafing through my plan book, I stop at those lessons which went awry and those that never quite got off the ground.  I think about expectations (the plan book) and my kids (my reality), and how sometimes these two dovetail neatly into the day’s work, and how sometimes they collide spectacularly.

But, even in the messiness of the latter, we learn something about each other and ourselves.  Even in those moments of frustration, there are lessons we learn about our limitations, patience, perseverance and the value of our close knit community.  Today, Ruth Ayers wrote this in her “Celebrate” post:

It is through finding an abundance of celebrations that I will learn to live treasure.
So here’s to finding one moment then another and gripping them, then looking closely enough to find all of the other glimmers of grace and raw beauty and unexpected joy.

This is how I will learn to treasure the rocky year we are living.

A school year is a rocky year…but there are many moments of “grace, raw beauty and unexpected joy” that are often easy to discount as we rush to get it all done.  Today, I want to pause, and find time to look through my plan book with new eyes – and see treasures, instead.

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12 thoughts on “Celebrate this week: Appreciation

  1. That part of Ruth’s post stuck with me as well Tara. And you describe the ups and downs of a school year and community of learners so perfectly. (Sixth graders too!)

  2. “Hope walks in every morning.” Love this. I also love your perspective on this time of year. I keep getting so frustrated. I need to remember the gems. They will keep me going.

  3. I adore reading about your classroom and the Smithlings who inhabit it. It’s joyful to read of the ways they chose to celebrate you and their community.

  4. It was a nice week with Teacher Appreciation and I so appreciated your honestly with school years being rocky. They are and they have treasures. Enjoy the treasures

  5. I’m happy for you that you felt appreciated this week, Tara. Teaching does have the stresses, and especially worries about what to finish in those days left. It’s good to sit back and appreciate all that is good!

  6. Thank you for that last quote, it’s important to remember.
    I think all teachers get to this time of the year and start panicking about what needs to be done. It’s nice to take the time and hear what the kids think and wallow in that for just awhile!

  7. So many great quotes that epitomize teaching. From Ruth, Kylene, and you:
    ” think about expectations (the plan book) and my kids (my reality), and how sometimes these two dovetail neatly into the day’s work, and how sometimes they collide spectacularly.”
    All three of you masters of the teaching craft. All quotes to hold close every day.

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