Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between

This week was a long week. Two evenings of parent/teacher conferences. Rainy days. Stormy nights. Seldom seeing the sun. In all of this, I appreciated things that made me smile. I also honoured the tears.

Looking back over my week,

I celebrate time for art and filling our room with bunnies. I am terrible at holiday art. I never decorate the classroom for specific holidays. I think about it going up and then being over and needing to come down. So, in this season, I cheat and do winter related art. This week it was little bunnies in the snow. I love how bunnies represent curiosity, inquisitiveness, quiet and calm. Every time I look at these little critters, I grin. In all of the busy, creating art together is a way to slow it all down. (Inspired by this project on the blog Mary Making)

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I loved this one in particular – its wild nature and how it was branded “Gril” because, you know, if you have a bunch of bunnies, you should keep track of gender. πŸ™‚

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I celebrate tears. Tears shared during parent conferences. Tears of pride. Tears triggered by memories of challenging childhoods. Tears about opportunities and dreams for children. Much to celebrate. The generosity of stories shared. I am blessed to be meeting with some families for the second and third year. Trust takes time. Wow, is it incredible as it happens. I loved what parents and families (because I also had siblings, Grandmas, etc.) shared with me. A few highlights:

  • “My daughter comes home and follows me around asking me “Did you know . . . ?” and actually, I don’t know! I love learning about what she is learning.”
  • “I think our sister is really benefitting from the yoga that you do in class. She is really centered and she is showing more calm when dealing with her siblings.”
  • “I love all of the art! Can I take pictures of all of it?”
  • “My child is now helping her sister read. She says, “write down the words you don’t know and we’ll figure it out together.”
  • “My child is always reading. We have to go to the library every weekend.”
  • “My daughter is writing songs. Every day!”
  • “I put what you wrote about my daughter on my facebook page. It was so wonderful. I am so proud.”

I realized that much beyond curriculum is being learned. We were able to celebrate community, kindness, perseverance, risk taking, curiosity and the power of learning and wondering together.

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I celebrate conversations with my students about buddy reading. After our little K buddies left this week, we gathered at the carpet and talked. My students (in Grade 3 and 4) shared highlights of their reading experiences. We discussed whether little buddies were ready for longer picture books yet or whether board books and concept books were still appropriate. My students talked so respectfully and thoughtfully about different needs and abilities of the K students. They recognized that different children have different abilities to attend and different interests and skills. They are so invested. I am so proud of them. I have regular moments of awe as I happen upon the interactions between the children. The gifts they give each other . . .

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I especially celebrate things that made me laugh. In all of the busy. In all of the intensity of pre-holidays and family meetings, regular laughter was a must. My favourite giggle of the week was this labelled paper bag brought along on our field trip with a child who worried about getting sick on the bus. The worry of motion sickness passed once she had her “puking bag” firmly in hand.

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

‘Tis the season for lots of emotions. I celebrate the ability to feel them all. Resting up this weekend to prepare for another week of “pre-holidayness” next week.

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

celebrate-link-up

25 thoughts on “Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between

  1. This post made me sigh in happy satisfaction when I finished it. All the emotions–right here in one celebration. So much I love here. All of the “much beyond curriculum” that is being learned. The connections and engagement and love. Of course the laughter. Not sure what we’d do without that. Even on our hardest day at home, there is much laughter and I am always in awe of shared laughter’s capacity to heal and mend and connect.

    • Laughter is key! My little motion sickness girl gives me great joy. She used this bag to shade her seat mate from the bright sun on the bus. I sat with them and kept giggling to myself wondering if Peking Duck recipes could be used to make Peking Bugs? But, seriously, my parent conferences/family conferences were so full of everything. I loved that what came through loud and clear was the joy of community that is honoured in our room – how we support and care for each other.

  2. Oh my, my oldest granddaughter gets motion sick too, & is quite content carrying a bag with her-so funny that ‘puking bag’, Carrie. Love hearing all of this, & especially about the buddies. We have a buddy program too & it’s delightful to see the students interact, & my older ones be so helpful with projects. Sorry it was rainy with no sun & the conferences, while wonderful, are energy draining. I enjoyed seeing the comments shared. The relationships are so valuable. Have a great rest of the weekend!

    • Thanks Linda. I love how this little girl labels everything. Every time I looked at this bag, I would start to smile! I was exhausted by the end of the second night but inspired that families are so happy.

  3. Carrie,
    The bunnies reminded me of El Deafo! Thank you for sharing the wonderful words from your conferences. This reminds us of the so much more that teachers do for students. The stuff that matters that aren’t in the standards but are oh so necessary to meet. Love the laughter and acceptance of how things are and might be (puking bag, so funny!).
    Juileanne

  4. What a lovely post sharing so much joy. There is indeed much to celebrate. How wonderful for you and your class and their families to find time to celebrate their learning and their being.

  5. I love the comments your families and students made. That’s one of my favorite parts about teaching. They are the ones who really matter. When things get crazy with admin and curriculum and all that, I remember that families are happier when they are learning and their children are safe and happy. Love from one gril to another. πŸ™‚

    • That is exactly how I felt Crystal – that when I worry that we don’t cover something, I need to let it go. Instead, we need to celebrate how much community we have and keep growing it stronger. What really counts in the end is that students are happy, feel like they belong and are learning and developing in a classroom community where they truly matter.

  6. A lovely post, my friend. So many celebrations, but also those tears. Being in the classroom reminds me that Christmas does not always mean magic and toys and family… it sometimes can bring fear and sadness and loneliness. How fortunate your students are to have you building their confidence, their ability to laugh, their courage and their wisdom – this will carry them into the holidays and beyond. You are their gift of Christmas, my friend.

    • Okay. So that comment just made me cry. I do really love these kids and some of these conversations with parents and caregivers made me realize that the classroom is far more than the learning outcomes my day plans might reflect. It is about our community and all of the amazing “off the page” learning too.

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