And it just sat there. Walked by it all weekend. At times, it was forgotten. At times, it beckoned me as if it were the beat of my telltale heart, echoing in my brain, “They need feedback, they need feedback, they need feedback, they…”
Of course, I could just as well have left it in my backpack, but I needed it for the fair to carry water and jackets for my family Saturday night. But even left in my backpack, the steady chant of guilty reminders would have been inescapable. And so, it really didn’t matter where I left it–school, backpack, end table by the couch (where I left it); the pile of papers requiring my attention is still sitting there at 3:30 AM this morning untouched.
Oh, I have my reasons–excuses maybe. Daughter decided that she just had to have the horse this fall, so my past few weekends have been filled with fence building. And while it is only 400 ft. of fence, I can’t do anything halfway, and I err on the “overbuild,” so it has taken a lot of time. I try to stay fit and ride my bike on weekends (no ride this weekend). I have a set coffee date with my lovely wife every Saturday morning (she’s also a teacher, and we like to see each other on occasion, so we schedule time). There are ten cords of wood that still need to be stacked, a yard the size of a city park that needs to be made ready for winter, and…(the list goes on). And on occasion, I just like to sit down and relax, which rarely happens. But despite my reasons, the papers sit unmoved, unsympathetic to my plight. They need attention. They demand attention. And they will get it.
As teachers do, I have already twisted and tweaked my schedule this week, so I can get to them. I have convinced myself that there is still time, that the kids really don’t need to get them back till Thursday. But that’s just the pile of papers. I also have all the planning and preparing for this week. I wish I could just “have the kids write” for the next two days, but I have to model; I have to conference; I have to teach. And then, of course, there’s life outside of school, too.
And I know I am not alone. I imagine there are more than a few of you reading this this morning who are in my shoes, and, too, you are frantically reorganizing, re-prioritizing your personal and professional schedules to steal time this week; time that doesn’t exist, but we will try anyway. Won’t we? Mad we are. Crazy as loons. Scrambling on a Monday morning, starting our “psycle” all over again.
Though I can feel the papers staring at me across the yet-dark room, I am not going to let them push me over the edge. I can’t. I have too many kiddos depending on my attitude, my energy this week. So, I will don one of my fifteen Superman shirts today, and face the trail, making it happen as I always do, slipping back and forth between my human and hero self, as all my colleagues do, frenetically confronting time, hoping to win, learning to lose. Alas, we are teachers.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…pick up our Life is Lit passage for the week. Week two for Life is Lit. This week we will wander into the world of Bradbury. Our guiding question for the week, “Do we control technology, or does technology control us?” We will continue working with theme. This week I will ask the kids to point to specific elements from their “Identifying Theme” handouts that helped them arrive at their choices for themes. I hand this out on Mondays. It is due on Thursdays.
…start drafting our narrative essays. Sometimes the best way to get started is just to get started. I will do a mini-lesson on hooks using the resource I created for the kids below (using the topic of growth mindset). The goal here is to write a narrative along with the kids, but I will likely get little in-class time to write, for I will be helping kiddos. Today, I just want them to try some of the approaches and get something down on the page.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
And that’s our day. Hope my Superman shirt sees me through. Happy Monday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.