The completion of week 19 feels momentous. 40 weeks in a school year. Practically half way done. In a blink, fifth grade will be over and I’ll be starting again with a room full of fourth graders.
Week 19 is 2013. As one apologetic behavior letter from a student reminded me, it’s a fresh start. It’s the frozen activities field beneath a thin blanket of fog and the backdrop of a rising sun, that one forgotten soccer ball settling into the icy mud. It’s smiling faces and getting called Mrs. Mac by that one kid who never opened up until now… Mrs. Mac, a softer, truncated nickname filled with more love than I can communicate.
It’s four kids receiving random acts of kindness, confused hugs for the extra attention. It’s my principal walking in to observe in the first hour on the first day back at school and me smiling unapologetically at the imperfection in my room, pure embrace of sleepy kids and calm.
It’s book reports that have blown me away. The girl with the purple guitar. The boy whose name should be Maniac Magee, who pretended to be the protagonist in Spiderwick Chronicles, much to the delight of all the other kids. Fifteen minutes of wild impersonation, jokes, energy, charisma. A cheer he taught the class, tugging on both ears, “Boggarts, boggarts, boggarts!” His joy in success and fame.
It’s also the intervention teacher’s compliment that I seemed so at peace watching his sometimes frenetic performance, a room of 29 other kids just seconds from bouncing off the walls. That edge where control could be lost, me more calm and centered than ever before. A friend who visited just in time to walk through all the other classrooms and take a peak at all the book report creations, recognizing the strength in my patience, sharing her grad school stories with my kids.
Week 19 gives me hope. Hope I can be calm almost all the time. Hope all this yoga and meditation are paying off. Hope I have found a sweet spot in my love and knowledge of my students. Week 19 is peace.