I wish all of you non teacher-y ones could get a glimpse into the magic of it … how even after quite a few days of this cold snap and lots of kids in for lots of recesses … even throw in a pre Christmas full moon … there is still so much magic to be found.
I wish I could capture for you how I stand back as they carry out their morning routines: poetry and word wall words to read; the schedule for the day and our poems of the week, with a capable VIP at the helm; how even though I am checking 16 agendas and trying to get the pizza money sorted and checked off without any errors … at the very same time I am listening and feeling the swelling of heart. I wish I could convey as they come to the carpet and one of them switches off the one light so we can read announcements together, off my monitor each morning; how our VIP of the day makes a request for Silent Night to be the song of the day … and so I make a mental note that this will be our focus song this AM … and it is … eventually.
But as we settle in and as they surround me, other things float to the foreground first … a beloved old dog passed just last night; and someone feels compelled to share how old this dog was in human years, and we all empathetically say “wow”. And we let this student have the floor as this dog’s passing gets conveyed through this students words … how the dog looked into the student’s dad’s eyes and then he died. And we feel the sadness for the moment collectively, that this old deck dog is no longer with them. And the stories prompt other memories and I sit amazed at the clarity of some of those who I taught last year; how they can remember when my old Rex died and how I didn’t tell them until the day after it happened cause I knew I would cry. They remember these details and I realize yet again the impact of a teacher.
And I tell them that I was sad last night too. Sad about the war going on far far away, in Syria. Sad that so many kids their same age are trying to get to safety. And there are more connections cause kids in my class know of our Swift Current refugee family, also from Syria. And so in a span of 10 minutes we talk of puppies and bombs; kitties with frost bitten paws and songs of Silent Night.
And then reality reminds us of spelling tests that need dictating; guided reading that needs doing; Christmas trees that need finishing; zippers that need zipping and scarfs that need tucking. But first, we steal a few more precious moments and we watch a 12 second video of new puppies playing. And we say it to one another, that really the only good thing about an old pet passing, is the hope of a new pet finding their way into our hearts and families, once the time is right …
In the beauty of the ordinary I see the treasure of these relationships; in the midst of the sharp pencils and the long days of frosty weather; relationships are being strengthened and memories are being made.
And Monday, when they come around the corner with snow pants swishing and back backs bursting, I can already hear their absolute delight …. that I bought for them a new table and 2 sweet chairs… a new place to sit as we usher out 2016 and prepare to embrace 2017! This is the essence and magic of teaching; and I couldn’t ask for a journey more memorable than mornings like this one ♡