Thursday, September 5, 2013

Slowing Down and Finding Joy

I was running late this morning. My hair wasn't cooperating, so I was rushing to get moving and get to school because I knew I had a couple of things yet to prep. I knew they would only take a few minutes, but I hate feeling rushed when I arrive to school in the morning. I opened the back door to the deck to let Dooley out, I had my breath taken away by a beautiful sunrise. It made me pause for a moment and I realized I wanted (perhaps needed) to take a few minutes to snap a few pictures. Because when you see something so beautiful, it's worth the time it takes to appreciate it for a few more minutes. And it calmed me down. It made me slow down a little bit. And it put my day, and my morning rushing, into perspective for me. That sunset made my day because it changed my whole mindset.
As I drove to school, I was still thinking about the beauty of the orange and bright yellow with the pink swirling into the blue clouds and how it forced me to slow down. I realized I needed to keep that calmer perspective throughout the day, and that I should take the time to appreciate the "sunrises" throughout my day when they came.

And they came...

First thing this morning a seventh grade girl came right up to me, "Mrs. Heise, I finished my first book!" This was the start of the third day of school, and she's already done with a whole book. And she's excited about it. And she immediately asked if I had the next book which we went to find on the shelves. That was a joyful moment. I slowed down to appreciate it and remember it. That helped make my day.

Looking around the room during Independent Daily Reading (IDR), I saw how much my students are enjoying the "poufs" I took quite a bit of time last week to procure for them to use during reading time to get more comfortable on the floor. Seeing them leaning up against them, sharing them, sitting on them, flopped over them...made it completely worth the effort I put into finding them. It makes me smile every time I see them using them so happily.
At the end of IDR time in the next class, a seventh grade boy walked toward me holding up I Am Number Four proclaiming, "This book is awesome!" I agree kiddo, and I have the rest of the series ready to hand you when you're done.

Because technology class isn't happening due to MAP testing, my seventh grade homeroom came back to me later in the day during that time. As they walked in, (keeping in mind this is only day 3 of school so they don't know me super well yet) this conversation occurred:
Student: "Are we reading?"
Me: "Yes."
Student: "Awesome!"
2nd Student: "Ugh."
3rd Student: "Wait, what are we doing?"
2nd Student: "Reading."
3rd Student: "And that's a bad thing?"
Me: *Walks in behind them with a big grin*

And finally, later in the day with my 8th graders, I asked them to "Get to a good stopping point," at the end of IDR time, and I received a chorus of groans and "Can't we just keep reading the whole time?"

I slowed down and found the joy in my day today (and it was so joyful to see these student reactions already!). Thanks for the reminder early this morning, Universe. I'm remembering to pay attention now.

1 comment:

  1. JOY has been my One Little Word this year. It's amazing that when I slow down and appreciate these little moments, they make my whole world a bit brighter. I loved reading about your kids and the moments you savored. Makes our job a happy place to be :)