I wasn't in a rush to return to my classroom physically. I was worried I would be flooded with sad feelings and honestly, I couldn't take any more sad missing feelings. I usually do my set up and tear down when things aren't buzzing and this year was no different. I arrived at 6:30am on a Saturday and as soon as I made it through the new sign in routine, I felt a sense of normal. These halls and the silence of coming in to work on my own felt right. I got to my classroom door, took a deep breathe, and opened it to find things had been moved around a bit. I felt a bit unsettled my space had been jostled a bit and realized it was needed for cleaning and work that's always done when I'm not here. As I gathered student work, materials to go home, and packed up my classroom things I started gathering reflective ideas about education.
As I stacked stools and chairs, I realized these and the tables offer spaces of collaboration. The writing materials in our studio space offer and require students to share materials. Fostering opportunity to work on the life skill of taking turns. We work on collaborating and taking turns as we use our math manipulative to visualize math concepts and solve problems. Class discussions in real time seem to foster collaboration more authentically then some recent experiences I've had. I looked at our empty meeting space and thought about the moments the carpet gifted our class. Moments of connections, laughter, hesitation, worry, and honesty. We also had moments of frustration, joy, and contentment. The carpet space naturally fosters a community - there's something about sitting together physically. I admired their self portraits one last time and thought learning in this space is about making and creating. It's about fostering a different side of our brains. As I took down their names on our job chart, I thought about fostering responsibility and the pride they take in each one of those helper jobs. This space has so many benefits.
I had a very productive day and got lots done; leaving at 2:30pm. As I continued to pack up and move things around my feelings of normal continued and my soul needed this. I'm so grateful my students and I had this space to connect and grow before we were required to do distance learning. Goodnight room 127.
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