Today was our first staff meeting of the new school year. Also known as summer no here no mo. We met in the library. We hugged. We shared summer stories. I work with good people.
We did an activity, billed as a “cheesy icebreaker” by our wondrous principal. You partner up with someone you don’t know so well and say, “Who are you?”” They answer. You say, “Who are you?” They answer again, different, and so on for a minute. The minute is too fast but you still learn stuff. Then you partner with a second person and repeat it, but w/o using previous information. By the third person you’re really starting to access weird information about yourself. Turns out it takes a little cheese to build community (sorry lactose intolerators…we’ll catch you up).
I am arranging my classroom but the desks are still empty. There is no potential greater than the unnamed student in the unoccupied desk. I look around my empty classroom, the late afternoon sunlight filtering in through the pine sentry, and I think, “Anything.” Fill the room with bodies and I might be forced to think, “Something.”
Still, I am excited. I have my songs. I have my guitar. I have my books, stacked up, ready. I have a new carpet, donated by a friendly parent. It sits empty in the center of my room. They’ll sit on it, poke each other, kick, annoy, whine, complain, but they’ll also just sit there and enjoy, learn even. In fact, most of them will sit and respect each other’s space and listen. I’ll open a truly great book and read it to them. I’ll bring out a guitar and play it for them. I’ll show a fascinating piece of art on the projector and ask them, “What’s going on in this picture?”
Five more days ’til school starts. To figure out even six weeks of instruction would be miraculous.