Reading slices yesterday (thank you fellow slicers you’ve helped my persevere), I found this quote and it worked perfectly as my slice for today.
“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere” from Slicer, “Reading to the Core”
My colleague walked into our team meeting and she started by saying that she really couldn’t take it anymore. I inquired what happened, of course, and was responded by, “I can’t teach anymore because the kids are mean.” She continued that she didn’t care if they learned her subject, but she couldn’t put up with the way they treated others and her. Now, this is not a post to crap on a colleague, but it is one to help all of us move forward in a time period when things are, to state it kindly, tense.
We are at a moment, when grades are due, when students are making class choices for next year, when the weather hasn’t shifted and when we feel like teaching is the last thing we do each day. But, in all of this, we must persevere. And this was my response to my colleague. What did a student do that you liked today or what did they do that made you smile? She answered likewise and I hope her mood was lifted. As she paused to consider her answer, I began to think of mine.
I realized that on a daily basis the kids make me laugh. One such thing happened last week in one of my afternoon classes. A young man, looked at me and said, “Mrs. Gurney, is it hot in here?” As he said this, he pulled off his tearaway gym pants to reveal his jeans. I burst out laughing as did the rest of our class. I followed this with the warning that other teachers may not find this as funny. But, man it made me laugh.
I also realized that I love kids’ writing. They rarely have a filter and so I get to hear the stories that teachers tell from the students’ point of view. They grow little by little as the year grows until their writing looks completely different. I absolutely love when they borrow words or phrases that I’ve used in examples. I love even more when they grow beyond my examples and create writing that is their own. I’m not sure if I love kids because of what I teach or because of who they are as kids. But, I know that if I take some time to read some of their slices and respond that I can persevere through anything that my days throw at me.