Celebration: A special morning read aloud

Yesterday was our last day of school before winter break. It was pyjama day. We had a winter concert in the afternoon. My class brought in some treats to share and we watched part of a Shackleton documentary to celebrate that we finished an in depth read of Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill and spent time studying all things Antarctica and Antarctic exploration.

Students left at the end of the day with candy canes, forgotten lunch containers and their first term report cards. They bustled about in the main hallways tucking PJ pants into snow boots and off they went into the afternoon cold to begin their winter holiday.

But my celebration is not about the end of the day that signified my much needed break. It is about the beginning of my day and what happened in the thirty minutes before our day had even started.

Many students arrived early and leaped about delivering their party treats and admiring each others’ pyjamas. And then the lure of books and reading time happened as it often does.

Maybe it was the coziness of being at school in flannel pants and robes. Maybe it was the excitement of the holidays. Maybe it was just the magic of the early light in the room. Yesterday morning, a student from the classroom next door visited. He planted himself on my stool and read aloud Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (a title I had shared with the class the day before). He read with beautiful drama and wonderfully hilarious voices.

Celebration: A special morning read aloud

As more students arrived, they joined in with the read aloud experience. Cozy. Quiet. Engrossed.

Celebration: A special morning read aloud

I stood back and just smiled. These moments well before the first bell were a gift. They represented what I have been waiting for. Community. A place for readers. That I belong.

It has been a long journey for me. Searching for “home” after leaving my community of 21 years. I have written about it endlessly in the past eight months. Here and here and here and here and here. I write to process. I write to feel. I write to know.

In those early morning moments yesterday I felt it. I have a new here. This school is now my school. I celebrate this peace. Peace and calm. A room full of books. A room full of students. A room full of reading. A community that is mine.

Happy holidays to all!

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!

Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.


28 thoughts on “Celebration: A special morning read aloud

  1. Carrie,
    Happy holiday season and wishes for an abundance of sleep in the midst of the coming excitement and good cheer. I wish I could convey how happy I am for you that the moment you described, the feeling of belonging and community, found you before you left for that break. You deserve that, and it will allow you to refresh and renew in the weeks ahead in entirely new ways than you might have planned.
    BTW, I love Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins- often shared it with my students of many ages.
    Holiday blessings and happiness to you.

  2. I know what a struggle it was for you this school year. I am so glad you found a new “here”. Your students are very lucky to have you building their community! Enjoy your break and happy reading!

  3. Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins is a long-time favorite, read years ago by a beloved parent to my class and to others as wished. I love the feeling you found yesterday morning in your class, Carrie, now YOURS, and YOUR school. It has been a long journey, and finding happiness at the end so a beginning with joy can happen is the best gift ever. Happy Christmas to you and the family!

  4. “I write to process. I write to feel. I write to know.” I do too. Writing is so helpful to me too!

    This is my 2nd year in my district and I spent a lot of last year trying to find my way…in a new job but with new people too. For me, it took that whole first year and now that I’m in my second year, it feels a lot more like home. I love that a reader from next door came to read to your class. That’s so fun and just makes me smile. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I know the transition to your new school has been a challenge. Your writing has been wonderful to read. I’m so happy your new school is now becoming your new home. Bravo. Keep writing!

  6. Amen, sister! Such wonderful news. I never doubted for a second that you’d quickly find “home” since it truly is where the heart is. And you, Carrie, have the biggest and greatest teacher heart of all! Happy Holidays!

  7. What a beautiful post. Today was our pajama day. Those have an added dimension of wonderfulness. I’m so glad you have a warm and growing community.

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