Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers and the Slice of Life writing community for providing this opportunity to share our "slices." Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to share our work. Check out the other slices and join in the fun!
Over the past several years, something changed at school. I can't say it has been a change for the better or worse. Just different.
I observe people coming and going. Hurried. Busy. Rushed.
I sense an overall intensity. Serious. Business-like. Stressed.
I feel kindness, but hear less laughter.
Call it testing.
Call it a data coma.
Call it progress monitoring overload.
Call it too much media, journalism, sensationalism against teachers.
Call it whatever. But, I think I've had enough.
Like branches on the ground after a storm, I feel as if we've been beaten and scattered. Yes, there was definitely a gusty, strong wind of change that has slowly swept across our halls. All of them. It was a slow change. Subtle. Minor at times, major if you look close. A climate change indeed.
This year, I'm hoping to help with storm clean-up. Waking, rising, dusting, and drying myself off to help others. Or at least I'm trying. I think the pressures of our profession can feel overwhelming and when it feels like teachers are labeled as not doing enough, then it starts to take its toll. I hear the media. I see the headlines. Some things feel within my reach. Some too far...or are they?
Something within my reach occurred just recently. I've mentioned in previous posts that our school is "excited" to be celebrating National Reading Month. Excited isn't a term I used loosely yesterday in yesterday's post. I hope reading this, today, gives a little more understanding to yesterday's story. Excited may have been a word easily taken for granted and lost in the midst of text. But, I'm surely not taking it for granted because for the first time in a long time I'm seeing some smiles. I'm sensing excitement about the month ahead. I'm hearing some laughter. I'm noticing the resemblance of a team that I recognize from years ago.
And to think I've found all this in the strangest place...staff t-shirts. Seems crazy, huh?
Our staff came together Friday and yesterday to make t-shirts to promote National Reading Month. Music. Laughing. Ironing, Joking. When you see this picture without my story, it is just a t-shirt. When I look at the picture with this story in mind, I smile.
Today we all will wear the t-shirts we proudly made, together. Putting some "spring" in our step after a stormy season. I can't be certain the storm is over, but I'm happy to see a little light coming our way.