SOL #29 – “Boom. Clap”

“Maybe you could add onomatopoeia here? To describe what it sounded like when we crashed?” I suggested to a student about his slice as another boy sat next to him typing.

He looked at me quizzically, so I gave him a few examples, “Boom!  Crash!”

“Sound of my heart…”  sings the boy next to us.  I couldn’t help but start cracking up!  Perfect timing.

 

SOL #28 – Reflection and an Apology

My car ride home is quite a haul, but it allows me to reflect on the day.  Yesterday was one of those days, where among other things I lost my patience too many times. 

On my drive, all of a sudden it hit me why that one kid was shoving a book in my face earlier…

I was cranky.  I had a headache.  And one of my students held a book up to my face, fanning the pages, while I was trying to give directions to another.  I’m not sure exactly what I said, but it was something like, “Why is that in my face?  Go sit down.”

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Earlier in this day I had published a Joy List post on our classroom blog.  Do you see it yet?

It took me until the ride home, but I realized that he saw this.  He saw that I love the smell of new books. He saw that I was having a bad day.  He was trying to bring me joy.

He may not have gone about it in the right way, but he tried.  I owed him an apology.

And an apology he got.  I pulled him aside this morning, apologized to him and thanked him for trying to bring me joy.  He smiled, laughed, nodded and went back to work.  I think I am forgiven.

My kids may not always know how to express it appropriately, but they are good, compassionate young people.   I am lucky to spend my days with them!

 

 

SOL #27 – One of those days…Saved by a Dart Gun

It was one of those days that is bound to happen once in a while.  Especially when that day is accompanied by a sinus headache and a classroom full of fifth graders.

It was one of those days where you can’t tell if the students are acting out more than usual or you are just crankier than usual.

It was one of those days that things go missing, you raise your voice too often, and you spend your plan time cleaning and reorganizing because that is all you can manage.

Luckily, today was one of those days where I spent my plan time cleaning and reorganizing.  And upon my irritated tossing and frustrated searching, I stumbled on some envelopes that my best friend and former co-teacher left me for “those days” when she changed schools.

I read through the different envelopes that remained and found one the perfect one for today.  “Open when…You’re stressed.”   I ripped open the envelope to discover a toy dart gun.  Despite my cranky attitude, I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle out loud.  The stress didn’t go away, but it did dwindle some after the thoughtful gift from a friend and a few minutes of target practice.  It got me through that last half hour of the day.  Tomorrow will be better.

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SOL #26 – Weekends Without Him

Weekends without him

Are horrible.

Empty.

Even when they are fun,

They’re sad

Because he isn’t with me.

 

It’s been two plus years,

And it doesn’t get better.

Empty.

 

But then comes Sunday,

When I get to pick him up

And hear about the past three days.

Full.

 

In a rush,

Stories mixed together,

Out of sequence,

About Friday’s escapades

With friends.

And everything else

Since I saw him last.

Full.

 

“It pains me.

The Crossover won the Caudill.

But that’s not what pains me…

The kids who read most

Of the books on the list

Won a Barnes and Noble gift card.

It pains me.”

Full

 

 

SOL #25 – A Friday Story To Beat All Friday Stories…

Friday.  Their eyes were not on me.  On the iPads or the friend across the room, but not on me.  They weren’t listening either…

“Leave everything at your tables and come over here and sit.”

It didn’t take long until everyone was sitting in front of me.  I sat on the ground with them, legs crossed in front of me and started sharing a few housekeeping details I need them to hear when I noticed the boy in front of me reaching.  It looked like he was reaching toward my foot… My voice trailed off as I watched him.

He slowly reached toward my foot and pulled my cheap green flip flop off.  The whole class was watching  now, quiet.  My announcements forgotten.

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He held the flip flop in two hands, looking at it and turning to the side and back again.  Still we watched, entranced by this confusing turn of events.

Then, to the surprise of everyone, he sniffed my flip-flop. Yes, I kid you not, nose to flip-flop and inhaled.

The silence was broken with the cries of confusion and, frankly, disgust.  “What?!?”  “Gross!”  “Seriously?”

When I inquired the reason for this strange action, all I got was a shrug…  WHAT?!?

SOL #24 – Shadows

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“Have you noticed we are getting shorter by the hour?”

Don’t worry.  No one is actually shrinking.  Today is beautiful.  The sun is shining and it feels like spring.  It is the perfect weather for an investigation into shadows.  We went outside once each hour to trace shadows, observing the changes.

After our third shadow, a student came up to me and asked, “Have you noticed we are getting shorter by the hour?”  🙂

Some days I wish they were shrinking, because most of them are eye level or taller than me…

SOL #23 – “The credit belongs to the man in the arena.”

Excitement filled the gym.  It was our girl’s 4th/5th grade basketball game and the girls were up by several baskets.

One of my students on the team passed by where I was sitting with some fifth grade boys on her way back from the drinking fountain.

“Sally.”  Sally paused and turned to face Billy.  “Sally, did you play in the game yet?”

“Yeah,” she replied.

“Did you score any points?”

“Not in this game.”

“Did you score points in any of your other games?” he asked, starting to smirk.

She nodded, starting to look impatient with his line of questioning.

“How many points?”

“I don’t know.”

“Probably only like two.”

“How many points did you score this year?”

“I wasn’t on the team,” he replied.

“Exactly.”

And she walked away, back to win their second game as a team.  BOOM!  I was so proud of her!  She didn’t let him get to her and she stood up for herself.  You go girl!

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt