#Celebratelu & #SOLC17:Celebrating joyful sound

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

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

These days, my lunch time is given over to grim work: writing to and calling my Senators and Congressmen and urging them to fight for all the causes I hold dear, the causes I hoped they’d support once I had cast my vote to send them to Washington D.C.: public education, safeguarding the environment, protecting the rights of all Americans…and all those other causes that reflect the progressive values under assault by the current Administration.  Most of the time, the phone lines are busy and I leave a terse message, essentially reading aloud the letter I had just emailed. This lunch time work leaves me feeling depressed and joyless: will any of it count? is any of it going to make any difference?

On Friday, my students asked if they could begin using our classroom space to film scenes for their historical fiction book club projects.  They created a filming schedule so that groups could have the classroom to themselves to set up their props, dress in their costumes, and act out their scenes.  Friday’s lunchtime marked the first of these filming efforts.  I sat at my little desk while they went at it, picking at my salad and organizing my thinking for my usual lunchtime work.  But my attention kept getting waylaid by the scene playing out in front of me: my kids, deep in conversation about the book they had just read, discussing what they intended to do through their scripts to share the theme and the important characters of their book club book.  Serious conversation and then hilarity, then work, and then some more hilarity.  It was joyful sound.




I think I am ready to find another time in the day for my #Resist! lunchtime work.  I think I am ready to pay attention to my kiddos and their joyful sound instead.  For right there, right in front of me, laughing and arguing and playacting, is the reason I wake up every day to do the work I love.  Paying attention to joyful sound – that is my celebration for the week past, and the week ahead.



24 thoughts on “#Celebratelu & #SOLC17:Celebrating joyful sound

  1. Joyful is good. Anxiety is not. What about doing your calls only one day a week? After all, you are already doing “resistance” work in your classroom every day by being such a good role model for your students. And remember…there’s time. We still have more than three years to go. Sigh.

  2. Love the truth in your piece today. Your resistance work is very important, and I fully understand your lunchtime assignment to resist and the frustration that it brings. Sometimes a break from the resistance effort is necessary in order to continue the good fight. Thanks for your participation in Indivisible. Our existence is at stake. Best to you, and good luck!

  3. What fun for the kids and you to witness putting their learning into action. Perhaps those are the videos that need to be sent to the “powers that be” to show them what great public education looks like.

  4. Nothing is more uplifting or satisfying than the sound of children actively engaged in learning and punctuating their activity with meaningful talk, quips, songs and laughter. I really enjoyed a peek into your day.

  5. Definitely time for a change of action, Tara. Your students’ rehearsals sound like much more fun, and “laughter is the best medicine”, right? On the other note, each day I make a couple of calls, and also each day brings one or more surprises. These weeks have been something unimaginable to me, but I won’t stop. I’m hopeful that more and more will step up to say “enough”.

  6. I agree. I’d rather listen to kids working and laughing than a busy telephone any day. But both are worthy of your attention.

  7. Love that you celebrated the joyful sound of your students at work. It’s a great scene to celebrate. And now I want to know, what historical fiction book did this group read?

  8. The notion of active learning and joyful sound permeate your piece Tara. Such things deserve celebrating. Student ownership and genuine engagement should drive us all.

  9. Joyful sounds is what I love to hear, Tara. You are blessed with busy little creators who have a take charge attitude thanks to your guidance. Enjoy those sounds. Political rhetoric and shenanigans seem to be never-ending but it is good that you continue to champion your causes.

  10. Your shift in plans makes so much sense. Enjoy the joy! Trump and the issues will be there–of that I am sure. Thank you for your work regarding the political issues of our day.

  11. Sometimes I think staying in my room at lunchtime is a chore, actually most of the time. I occasionally will let a few kids practice a dance etc which means I have to stay in the room. I must say that this refreshes me and allows me to breathe in a lighter way for the rest of the day. But the next day the smell of the coffee machine wins over……..

  12. Like you, I’m trying to keep reminding my senators that their constituents are out here. And that we care what is happening and expect them to represent us. But it’s hard work. And discouraging. And energy sapping. I have to do it after school, or at night, because I can’t do that and then have energy and joy to teach well.

    I am finding the same thing to be true with preparing kids for PARCC. I know it’s necessary, but it totally drains me. This week, I’m beginning each day with a quick read aloud in some classroom because I need my days to begin with joy and with laughter. This work is too hard not to consciously seek joy every day!

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