128. 128 students. 128 people. Each different. Each strong. Each fragile. I will try. I will succeed. I will fail.
I will fail. I will enter room 211 today eager to reunite with my kids. I will let them know I have missed them, and I will hope they have missed me. I will seek to know each better through our daily ritual of Smiles and Frowns. I will further push them to discover themselves as writers. I will continue to create ownership opportunities through a gradual release of responsibility with guided self-assessments and reflections. I will push them to think and reflect in our Journey Journals. I will feed the hungry through Project Feed Forward. I will ask them to recite our Mindset Mantra. I will write and deliver a Sappy Sy Rhyme. I will wish them well until I see them next. And I will fail. For as much as I will try to do and be all for my 128, it won’t be enough. I will fail some, maybe many.
And that is a hard pill to swallow. But it is the pill caught in my throat this morning as I reflect on last night’s #tg2chat about equity in the classroom. And no matter how many cups of coffee I drink or how much I rationalize my own perceived noble efforts towards creating an equitable classroom, the pill won’t go down, a stark contrast from the high I was riding from the positive, productive parent-teacher conferences before break. I was on top of the world. Things were coming together. We, students, parents, and I, were converging on a point of trust. I needed to pinch myself. Things were too good. Turns out they were, for I am no longer on high. I am reeling from the realization that it–that I--may not be enough. And I sit here in not-so-quiet desperation, trying to calm the dissonance that reverberates through my being before I reconnect with my kids in a few hours. I did not expect to be at this place this morning. But I am. And that’s okay.
No, I am not comfortable. No, I am not without doubt. But doubt and discomfort are not unfamiliar. In fact they are old friends, come to visit to remind me that I cannot rest, that I must journey forth, that I must seek better. I will fail today. And I will fail tomorrow. I will never win. Never. As if teaching weren’t hard enough, we who seek to create equitable environments also have to carry this heavy truth. But we do carry it. We carry it because we have to. We carry it because we are teachers. Some days the weight is heavier than others. Today is a heavy day. But I will get my legs beneath me again. And in the future, I promise to fail less. That future starts today, two hours from now. I will fail less starting today. Promise.
Thank you Marian Dingle, Peter Anderson, Christie Nold, Benjamin Doxtdator, Arthur Chiaravalli, Aaron Blackwelder, and all the other #tg2chat folks for pushing my thinking and helping me grow.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…continue descriptions and begin self-assessments.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Monday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.