This was the week to get back into the rhythms of school life, post-winter break. Some of us in Room 202 were able to ease back into business by day 2, and others were still making the transition at 3:05 on Friday afternoon (or, in the words of one student, delivered with a shrug: “still working on it”). “Yes,” I said in return, “I guess we’re all working on it, truth to tell.”
This snowy morning, I read Ruth’s poignant tribute to her friend Kim. Her last lines have been rumbling around in my head and my heart:
My ordinary is evolving.
I celebrate that through the hard, we can find good on the other end. I celebrate, like Kim, thatIt’s all good.
We’ve been peer editing our feature articles all week, and beginning the revision process which my kiddos love to complain about (that, and homework, of course!). I loved walking around our classroom and eavesdropping as they sought to listen carefully to, clarify, and question their partner’s work. Best of all, they came around (as they usually do) to seeing the value of reading their work aloud and having a peer share feedback…I celebrate that!
Inspired by Jess Lifshitz, we’ve immersed ourselves in our sixth grade version of her Mock Caldecott unit. It’s been the perfect way to get back into our reading community. All weeklong, we’ve gloried in discussions about picture books, art work, story telling, and the joy of finding meaning in words, pictures, and their intersections. It was just what we needed to get back into book love…and I celebrate that.
We left our New Jersey classroom a few times this week for a virtual field trip to Monticello. I’ve done this every year as part of our “Age of Jefferson” unit, and I never tire of wandering through the rooms and grounds, learning about the boundless curiosity of this deeply flawed but brilliant man. It felt so rewarding to pass along my love and awe for this special place to another class of sixth graders who will now want to visit it, too…and I celebrate that.
On a personal note, my youngest daughter sought out and secured an internship with The Innocence Project on Friday:
We’ve raised our kids with the values we hold truest, among which is the the call to make a difference in the lives of others. But, Livy’s altruism runs deeper than existing just because she grew up hearing her parents say that this is an important value to strive for. It’s the center of who she is, and it is so moving to see her now, as an adult, stay true to the causes she she believes in and figure out how she can make an independent life doing altruistic work. When I picked her up from the train station last night, fresh from her interview and job in hand, I felt a great rush of pride and joy because of her, and for her. Livy believes that she is on a path to make a life of making a difference in the lives of others…and I celebrate that.
It’s been a week of ups and downs, as it always is. But, in the greater scheme of things, I agree with Kim: It’s all good.