Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
We are closing in on the last days of school (eight more days), and the last days of my teaching life (a bittersweet thought, which I am mostly avoiding). Each day is a reminder to walk into our classroom with eyes and heart wide open for those moments I know I will want to hold onto and remember when I no longer have a classroom full of sixth graders bursting to the seams with energy, angst, imagination, and feeling. I am holding on so fast that I cannot even bring myself to write about our daily life and learning, as I so religiously did, right here on this blog, for so many years.
In a way, nothing has changed from the years past. These last days of life in Room 202 look no different from the last days of school for as long as I can remember: my kids are working on their multi-genre writing projects, on their slave life historical investigation projects, and then we come together to share a last read aloud.
Our room is mostly quiet as we work (students and teacher) to write/revise/clarify/elaborate/rethink our writing pieces. From time to time, we forgo the Google docs conferences via comments for the old side-by-side, knee-to-knee variety from the beginning of the school year. We work for two periods, some times three, without a break. There is an air of purposeful intensity in the air: we have meaningful work to do, and a limited time to accomplish it all. We have been preparing for this time since the first day of school: a time of independence, of self-direction, of knowing how to go about the business of managing one’s time and shaping one’s work.
Today, I took some time to just watch my kids, my almost-seventh-graders, and marvel at the progress they’ve made in the space of just a year. I watch as they toggle back and forth from one task to the next: writing one piece, putting the final touches on another, moving on to their social studies research project as they wait for my comments, and then circling back to check on their writing. Every once in a while, they check in with me to make sure they are on track (four writing pieces are due next Monday, their history project is due Friday). At one point, I had to leave the classroom to get a drink of water for a coughing fit, no one noticed…
…now, I know, my work is done.