Thursday, December 03, 2009
What a month.
I stepped off the treadmill of school life on November 2 and went back home for two weeks to help my mom while she recovered from surgery.
I've lived in Ohio longer than all my growing up years in Eastern Colorado, and yet I still go Home. Home to the streets I rode my bike on, the house where my kindergarten teacher lived, and the place where the glow of a lamp and the view from the back windows is as familiar as the scar on my knee from the incident with my cousin's Shetland pony and the barbed wire fence.
Home is where my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Bryner, still lives. I visited her in the nursing home and we talked about the importance of finding a way to love every child so that you can reach them and teach them. ("And," she said with a twinkle in her eye, "some children are harder to love than others!") True then, true now.
I had one day to unpack and repack my suitcase, and then we were off to Philadelphia for NCTE for five days.
For one day on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and then again on Monday, November 30, almost exactly a month from the day I stepped off the treadmill, I stepped back on the treadmill of school life...or at least I attempted to. In the weeks I was gone, someone ramped up the speed...or I lost some of the stamina I'd built up to deal with the unrelenting onslaught of meetings, meetings, meetings, planning, teaching, report cards, committees, behavior issues, homework issues, meetings, meetings, meetings, report cards, PD, data, grouping, grading, meetings, meetings, meetings...
I drove to another building for a committee meeting after school yesterday. On the streets leading up to the school are "traffic calming" humps. I've learned it's not worth it to zoom up to one and then screech down to 25 mph to go over and zoom up to the next one and screech down. It's better just to go a steady 25. It's calming.
It's calming. And I'm not just talking about traffic here. By the time I got to the committee meeting, my brain had slowed down and my blood pressure had fallen and the clutter of my brain had settled down somewhat.
I need some speed humps in my life to keep things calm and steady. I need to try to quit zooming and screeching. I need to find a steady speed I can maintain.