Some weeks we can make a list of things that happen – often all in a day happen – that add to the already stressful end of term. It’s report card season. That is enough right there to put me over the edge. And then . . .
- The heat in my classroom stopped working twice. 15 degrees celsius (that’s 59 fahrenheit for you in the U.S.) is too cold in a classroom!
- A mouse was spotted in our cloakroom.
- The upstairs printer stopped working and it was days and days before it was fixed (in “report cards are due and need to be printed week,” let’s remember)
- I got phone calls like this, “T will be late. He just threw up in the downstairs hall.”
- Our upstairs hallway had too much noise much too often. Upset kids. Kids not managing. Racing about. A few high pitched screams. Our door has to be constantly shut to keep our attempts at calm and learning inside the room.
- Painters showed up and my door was painted and had to remain open all morning to dry (sigh, see above)
- Pest control (bless him) showed up in the middle of a read aloud to close up holes. This involved a drill. But, still, bless him.
- It rained basically all week. Sopping kids. Sopping socks. Sopping shoes. Freezing room.
- There is more. I won’t reveal the details but there were instances that involved pencils in the ceiling, smushed oranges in the hallway and a day of no substitutes for two teachers.
Yup, it was a week.
And then, this happened:
I read a week’s worth of books on grief, loss and the cycle of life and students loved them deeply. Voting for favourites involved discussions like this:
“I don’t know what the word is . . . that feeling when you didn’t cry and you feel so much and oh, it was just so good.”
“It’s sad. But it’s happy. Oh, wow, I loved that book.”
Our intermediate resource teacher taught kindergarten all day when no substitute was available. He found me at recess with an insistent plea: “I need some books!” I passed him a pile including Brian Won‘s Hooray for Hat and suggested he make hats with the kids.
He did one better. A hat parade arrived at our door in the afternoon and the K class performed the book and charmed my Grade 4 & 5s. 🙂
Hooray for Hat!
Math looked like this. Everywhere I turned.
I bought the third book in a series and passed it to the reader who had been waiting.
“You really are that Book Woman,” he told me.
I had to rush downstairs Friday p.m. to deal with a discipline issue. I returned later to find the pile of papers that had been scattered all over the carpet piled up and the white board erased. Oh, my lovely Emily!
Report cards are handed in. The heat is working again. I woke up to sunshine and to gratitude for the fact that teaching children means that the little moments they give us will outweigh everything else that might be going wrong. Always. Guaranteed.
What better thing to celebrate?
Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!
Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.
Love reading your posts. So touching and insightful. Thank you for sharing! What were the titles you read on grief? I’m always searching for new ones for my library.
Melissa – We read Ida, Always, The Memory String, Boats for Papa, Sophie’s Masterpiece and The Old Woman who Named Things I also have this list: https://thereisabookforthat.com/picture-book-themes/picture-books-that-explore-death-bereavement/ which I need to update soon.
Oh there is much not to “like” about this post, and yet you found so many silver linings.
I just adore the hat parade. Bravo intermediate resource teacher/substitute/rock star!
Yes! That was a highlight of our day!
The craft of this post is brilliant. The way you turned to celebration in the middle of the mess is admirable. But, Carrie, a mouse in your celebration post? You might have broken the rules of celebrating. We. Don’t. Celebrate. With. Rodents.
I am inclined to agree with you. There is nothing endearing about mice. At all. But it went with the theme!
I love and celebrate this truth, too:
“…teaching children means that the little moments they give us will outweigh everything else that might be going wrong. Always. Guaranteed.”
🙂 This we know is true.
This made me smile because you’ve captured one of “those” weeks perfectly. We had our first snowfall here on Thursday — they were literally doing cartwheels. Oh dear. Also, an aha moment, because I had been thinking how cool it was that you had a male kindy teacher. But now I know the real story. Thanks for the smiles, Carrie.
Happy to make you happy! Ah . . . the teaching experiences we have!
Oh, my Carrie. What a week. You, book woman, are a rock in the storm of life. Love to you.
I wear the book woman label oh so happily!
Good and bad happens. Sometimes the not so good seems to pile and pile. We need to turn our eyes to find the good.You always find it. Books come to the rescue. As a Book Woman you command some mighty magic to create more good in the world.
Some mighty magic. Love that!
I loved the celebrations, and have been there with the “other”. Actually we had several mice one year, and some kids were determined to have pets! They did not succeed, but they learned about protests. Have a wonderful next week, Carrie. (I love Ida, Always)
Ida Always is so very very special.Mice? Not special at all. Yuck!
Lovely post Carrie. While I have yet to deal with a classroom with no heat, I have met the pest control guy – he almost makes me want to like mice and flies and bugs – but not quite. My favourite part of your post? The note from Emily – empathy shows itself in a variety of ways and is always lovely to see be shared with others or being the recipient of.
Emily certainly made my week!
You made it through a week of what some people may think is a pull-your-hair-out week, Carrie. Hooray for being a resilient teacher who recognizes that students matter and learning can flow despite any issues.
Thanks Carol. At this time of year, it feels like every week is one of those weeks!
Yes, you made it!! It does seem like some weeks are just chock full of trouble, but even then, there are moments to celebrate. Thanks for sharing the difficulties and the loveliness.
It’s always a mixture isn’t it?