The list might be overwhelming, so you should tackle it bit by bit. Two hours of that flex shift here, an hour on that assignment there. The laptop battery is going to die at some point, even though you fully charged it last night. You find you are eager for the part of your life in which work is done largely on your feet, instead of at the keyboard, to begin. You wish you could magically transfer the words scrawled on scattered sheets of notebook paper to the computer without having to type every single one and sort it all out. These ideas are bouncing around in your head, but you cannot visualize the big picture on the computer screen and it's driving you a little bit crazy.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
They have to move. Desks shift across the room. Screeeech. The plastic caps have broken off the feet and the chairs scrape on the floor. And the kids, they’re awake suddenly. This one jumps up from his seat. “Sit down!” you have to say, again, or is it the first time today?
This is what happens each day. These kids have to shift and move because they’re growing, or tired, or too wide awake, or hungry. They have energy shifting all around inside them, and so they have to move. Here, in the front of the room, their movement takes purpose. He will read the story, and she will perform. Then, finally, they will move and loosen their excitement and, you hope, learn.
Monday, November 4, 2013
It's the fourth of November.
This means four days of NaNoWriMo have passed and I missed the start. There's little space in my life for writing a novel right now, but I can step up to another challenge: writing daily. 30 prompts, 100 words each, for thirty days. I'll play catch-up over the weekend. I may not write 50,000 words in 30 days again, but surely I can manage 3000.
Will you come along for the ride?
[snapshot of my newly-rediscovered Book of Days and the changing leaves outside the window]
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I've yet to drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte and have giggled many a time over this joke, but I really do love fall (and spend an embarrassing amount of time in yoga pants, but don't wear them out...much...). I always have. I like going back to school and celebrating my birthday and fall colors and scarves. I don't so much love getting the sniffles after the first cold snap or losing my voice the week after that, but LOOK AT THE SKY.
I will proudly claim any day that Kentucky has the most gorgeous skies, and these moments are my proof.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Whew. I wrote on Wednesday when I was in a fog of negativity. I felt all that I said, but the content of that post? It isn't what I mean to keep here. This space is for the heartfelt moments, not the angry ones. I've written about sadnesses here before, just not the kind I was thinking about on Wednesday--not the kind that rise out of being too tired and reading too much bad news. That's one thing I've learned--I have to be cautious about the news because I have a limit and I must be able to concentrate my energies on the things closer to home, the things I can do something about.
I wrote once about my goal for this year: to matter. I am learning, slowly, that part of mattering is becoming the best teacher I can be. And to do that, I have to shut out a lot of negativity. You run into a lot of it when you want to teach middle school. Everyone thinks you're crazy. You say you love middle schoolers and people tell you that, after a week, you won't--even though you spend a full day with them every week and you cannot help loving those dramatic, moody, endlessly energetic kids. They drive you mad and they can be ridiculous, but you cannot help loving it. What you don't love is the way people expect middle school kids to be mean, awful, disrespectful, and so on--because if we expect them to be that way, always, we set them up to fail.
Ask me about all this again in a year, when I've spent two months teaching middle school English. I will probably change my mind. But right now, as I prepare for the career? I have to be ready, but I also must be a little too naive. It's better that way-it keeps me going and makes me prepare. And although I'm optimistic and hopeful, I'm still realistic. But that's a conversation for another day.
[image source unknown]