One-on-one time with students is a beautiful thing. During my student teacher’s solo teaching, I have the luxury of spending time with students who need extra help. Today I sat with a student for almost an hour and worked on math. No one interrupted us. We didn’t have to move on until we were ready. We just did math.

As classroom teachers, we rarely have the luxury of even 10 pure minutes one-on-one. However, even 10 minutes can be a beautiful investment in learning. Those are the moments when I actually get to say, “Do you want me to show you how to do that?” A head nods happily. I show. The eyes gleam with understanding. Contrast this with whole class instructions where I say, “Let me show you how to do this.” (Already, it has changed from a question to a statement). Heads nod in a trying not to sleep way. Eyes glaze. Curtain.

The other thing about being away from whole class instruction is that I start to see kids as kids again. I look out the window and see a teacher leading their class in from lunch. They stand, sternly waiting for a few kids to get in line. One boy is backing up and doing cartwheels. Another kid is spinning around. The teacher is not amused. I wouldn’t be either. To me now, however, breathing behind a window, watching from a peaceful room, it is pure poetry.

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