Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The view from the doorway

This is a Tuesday
Slice of Life.
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day. 
A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

8:30 a.m., the school day begins.
A wave of children coming from the cafeteria, from breakfast, on their way to class.
Families arrive with their children in tow.
The hallway double-doors just outside my classroom are no longer closed but are opened wide, inviting students to their classrooms.
So much happens at these double-doors first thing in the morning. 

Administrators with walkie-talkies, rushing through the doorway with welcoming expressions on their faces, making way for the stream of children and families, and needing to be somewhere else at exactly that moment in time.

A long line of water pours from an open water bottle in a backpack, and another child rushes up to the backpack-wearer, tapping him on the shoulder, "Your water bottle! You need to get paper towels!"

Two kindergarteners, sprawled on the floor, near tears, clutching Pokemon binders, and an administrator guiding their negotiation. I hear snippets: "Who had the card first? Who brought the card from home? Are you both happy with the trade? I hear him say he wants his own card back. Let's back this up to the beginning."

Laura tarries behind her mother and slips behind the propped open door. Her mother signs her into my class and I say, "Good morning! Where's Laura?" Her mother says, "right here," and turns to look behind, "I mean, right behind me," and she looks all about, "What? Where's Laura?" Stepping back into the hall, she says firmly, "Laura! Where are you?!" 
Laura giggles, so excited by her trick, and steps out from behind the door.
"Oh, child!" laughs her mother. Now, we will have a new daily ritual, I suspect.

A beleaguered Mom, rushing by with a young student in full 'boneless' tantrum mode, like Trixie in Mo Willems' Knufflebunny...the child cries out, steadily, "No! No! No!" Based on the velocity of this tantrum, this is not going to be an easy start to the day for this child or, actually, anyone in the entire class....

Yes, the view from the doors provides a lens on the day ahead.


  1. What a vivid picture of the beginning of your class. And how much I admire you being able to tackle these children after such hectic entrances. I think I would be ready to flee, especially after hearing that tantrum. Was that child coming to your class?

    1. Thankfully, the tantrum child was for one of the other classrooms...but I know the child well!

  2. Those Pokemon cards were an issue even in my older classes! You've shown the start of the day in all its chaos, but really that's people, or children this time. Even before our children came, there were moments similar among the staff, excitement and hard starts to the mornings all at the same time. Love imagining with your words, Maureen.