Friday, December 31, 2010
There are moments when the pressure lifts and it becomes possible to simply listen.
These moments are rare for teachers because we are responsible. Responsible for educating, for assessing, for safety. Our minds are constantly one step ahead. Always thinking, monitoring, watching, planning.
We don't drop our guard because no matter how much we may enjoy what we are doing, teaching is a responsibility that we take seriously. Good teaching does not happen by chance. And so the mind races.
But on the last day of school before the winter break I had a perfect moment with some of the students in my class. In this moment they were not my students. In this moment they were simply children. Children who had stories to share. Stories that moved me.
I sat on the rug with a small group of five-year-olds and we talked about what they wanted for the holidays. Some had written to Santa. Others had not. Some were very specific while others couldn't think of anything they wanted, although they said they wanted something. One boy said he wanted a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree with velcro letters like the one we have in the classroom. That was all.
And they asked what I wanted.
They really listened to one another. It was brilliant. For a moment there was no pressure. Nothing to do next. Just happy children full of anticipation and quiet excitement. It was an experience that I knew would stay with me. A little oasis in the busyness of life. A moment I didn't even realize I needed. But, one that I was given. Thanks kids!
Happy New Year!