Saturday, November 9, 2013

Celebrations 11/9/13

There is always so much to celebrate in life, it is difficult to focus on a chosen moment or moments. This week, however, I am grateful to focus on my students. As I have eluded to in the past, this has been a more difficult year. Not to say my students aren’t amazing, they absolutely are. But there are those days I question whether I’m reaching them, doing my job the best I can, making an impact at all. Once in awhile, it is as if the universe knows I am down and is there to bring me back – as it did yesterday.

I began the day with my students and one lamented that they weren’t getting enough reading time in. I reminded them of Donalyn’s idea of “stealing time” wherever you could for reading. I challenged them to place a post-it in their books where they were starting that day and read, read, read. At the end of the day they told me how much they read that day. Those twenty-four kids managed to read 1,313 pages in one day full of classes. Holy smokes! I was so impressed. It also opened up great discussion about how one person might read close to two hundred pages, and another eighteen – yet we all read different books at different paces and this is not a competition between each other but a challenge to us all to read more. That made me smile.

Two added smiles greeted me upon coming home. One of my fabulous kids was gone yesterday. Delaney had stayed home sick, and she was missed. I came home to this photo her mom posted on Facebook and I immediately had tears in my eyes. I asked her mom if I could share it here, and she kindly said yes. I told her that I hated to see that Delaney wasn’t feeling well, but love that she curled up with a book – a book I adore – as a result. 

And finally upon my porch I found this.

I had given this book to a student from last year knowing he would appreciate the humor inside. I love that his mom returns books to me with kind notes and cookies. The only thing better would be seeing all of my former students, having a mocha while I sat on a couch and chatted up books, what they’re reading, how everything is going. Until a Starbucks comes to my town and I can do that, this is the next best thing.

Celebrations. I am so glad that Ruth Ayres reminds us to find them in our lives. Sometimes they are needed to remind us to be kinder to ourselves. It appears that even when I’m down on myself, the impact is being made. I think Saturdays are awesome because sometimes I need to step back and look at the bigger picture. When I look at my class day-to-day, I despair that I’m not doing enough. With a little distance and reflection, I can see where we’ve come since August. That is reason alone to celebrate.