Monday, September 27, 2010

A word on waiting...

I always read Whitman in the fall.
His words fit the season
sound on my mind like boot soles against the pavement,
wrap around me like an old sweater
warm me like an old friend.

I find quiet there
where nobody knows me.
Where I get answers to questions I haven't asked
but still need heard;
and I feel connected through
and entwined,
a different branch of the same tree,


If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quotes from Kindergarten...

My kids say the funniest things. I'm pretty sure someone has already made a million writing down the crazy kids things say and marketing it as a special interest book. Still, I think Kindergarten teachers have the market on a goldmine just listening to their kids talk everyday. So here is the first of many quotes from Kindergarten worth sharing.

From a lesson on letter names and sounds...

Kindergartner: That "y" sure is a tricky one.
Me: What makes you think that?
K: It is supposed to say "yu," but then it goes and says "ee" and "ii" wherever it wants. How can we learn the sound if it keeps changing its mind?
Me: That is a good question. We just have to remember when it makes a different sound.
K: Well (thinking for a minute)...if it is going to make such bad choices, maybe it can just get out of the alphabet.

The First Year Chronicles...

I realize now that I have been a teacher for exactly one month. It is crazy to have a dream, work on it, achieve it, and then go about the business of living it without another thought. Teaching has been my dream for a long time (even if I wasn't brave enough to do anything about it until now). Still it has been a month and this is the first time I have thought, I am living my dream.

It pains me to say the last month has not been dreamy. Some of the shine has been worn of by the reality of having 27 kindergarteners come to my classroom everyday. There are so many five year olds and they need so much, so consistently, so often. It is an endless stream of transitions and potty breaks and untied shoe laces. Lining up and sitting down. Redirection and re-directing. It is exhausting work, friends. We need to make better choices slips from my tongue unconscientiously now. It swims in my nighttime dreams. I wake up with its stale taste in my mouth. And I wonder. If. I should. Make a better choice.

Then I remember...the boy who wanted a orange jelly bean and I gave him a red one. I told him it had his name on it. I turned around to sit down, only to find him with the jelly bean close to his eye. What are you doing little friend, I asked. I can't find my name, he said.

I remember the little girl who stood next to my chair and rested her head on my shoulder during writing time. You feel safe, she whispered.

I remember the girl who stood in front of me and pushed my hair back from my face with little fingers. You are so beautiful, Miss B.

I remember the boy who couldn't hold a pencil, but now writes his name...well mostly writes it.

I remember the feeling of a small hand in mine down the hall, small arms around my legs, small lives moving in and around mine. Little things like a full box of plums, a thanks, and I love you.

Despite exhaustion, there is an endless stream of love and learning and little faces. Words and wonder. Play and possibility. The spaces and absences I fill. The space and absences they fill. And I remember why I made my choices.

This is a dream.