Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday SOL - One real positive this year

This post is for the Tuesday Slice of Life writing challenge on Two Writing Teachers.

The children were last seen in the school on Friday, June 15th, but, their voices echoed.

We teachers spent busy, long days last week packing up our classrooms for our move this summer to a wonderful new location.

In the midst of the packing, we had several focused discussions about specific issues, both to wrap up this founding year of our school and looking ahead to year two.

In the midst of the packing, we took time to meet and share about our children.

I love being part of a staff that is truly all about the children.

I love how
we know about each other's students,
we embrace the time to share about specific issues,
we make these our whole school's issues.

Certain children need more.  It's as simple as that.

We shared about successes, we shared about continued challenges...their struggles, their "stuckness," their beings.

In the midst of the packing, we had "kid talk," all of us embracing the time, respecting the need for this time.  Time to hone in on what worked, what went wrong with specific children...considering their struggles, changes that are needed, ways we might support the child and family better, how to make changes in our teaching and across classrooms, in the school as a whole, to better support the child.  Were there common unmet needs?  Were there successful strategies? How might we work together to guide this student?

As I reflect this summer, I am happily aware that I love spending time with my colleagues.

I love how
we listen to one another's challenges in the classroom,
we draw a difficult child in rather than push them away,
we welcome older students to "catch a breath" in younger students' classrooms,
we have high expectations for their learning,
we seek to know the child.

Yes, we spent time on children, and the packing got short shrift.

I started off so controlled and organized - specific boxes marked "math manipulatives," "dramatic play - hospital," "engineering."  As time and spirit failed, it became a mad rush to just get everything into boxes, a frenzied, chaotic, get it done, I am fried, I need to go home conclusion to the year.

I'll find time in August to sort through those materials.

I'm glad we spent time on children.


  1. I looked at your link Maureen. It looks like a beautiful place you're moving to. I'll look forward all year to hearing about the new space, & that rooftop playground. I didn't know you were in the DC area. How great is that. I loved hearing about your questions & the discussions you had. And loved that last, just shove it all into boxes & get out of here; it's time! It's a nice tribute to your colleagues, too.

  2. Looks like a wonderful new place to be with kids. That packing stuff can be draining. Happy to hear that you let those echoes of children's voices carry you forward.

  3. Wow, Maureen,
    that looks like an awesome place to teach! We are lucky to have several new CLC-Community Learning Centers in the district where I teach...out of 54 buildings now only about 13 are left as "old" buildings-in the process to eventually be torn down or rebuilt. It's pretty amazing to be in the new buildings-so much more tech savy etc. but there's something about the character of the old buildings that will be missed...Good luck finding what you need from your boxes-but you're right, spending the time with each other is much more valuable.

  4. That is how I look at my school year: spend time with children (other things come second)! I am also thinking that my organization will happen in August... Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Talking about kids vs. perfectly packed boxes. You made the right choice. You have wonderful colleagues. Have an inspirational summer with plenty of rest.

  6. What a great ending and sounds (and looks) like a great new beginning in the future. I can so relate to the, I am fried, get it in a box so I can be done, feeling.

  7. xoxo. hope you're resting and rejuvenating! - kate

  8. How exciting to be moving into a new space - but I feel your exhaustion! I moved last year. I love the poem you wrote to remember, I love that your staff could talk and reflect while packing.