Thursday, September 28, 2017

Did you ever have one of those days?

Unsplash photo by Adrian

Did you ever have one of those days? A night of your soul so dark that you couldn't see around the next curve? An inner critic shouting so loudly about your faults that you lost the energy to shout back the truths you know to the bottom of your heart? A mire so thick you couldn't even lift a foot to step out of it? Some More added to the Too Much you already had to do (never mind about the Want-To-Dos)?

If you've had one of those, I hope you've also had the day that sometimes comes after.

The day when the PD you dragged your feet to gave the the exact tool you needed to move in a positive direction with behaviors in your classroom.

The day when your students got ridiculously pumped about learning exponents (and even tricked you into teaching them about negative exponents...because they were curious and totally could understand how they work).

The day when the visitors came to your classroom and everything went as smooth as silk.

The day when the gigantic atlases were discovered. (They were donated to the classroom by a superhero public librarian who couldn't stand the thought of them being thrown out in the course of the shelf-weeding that was happening at his branch.) Not only was it a joy to see kids poring over maps of here and there, one student came staggering up to me with a book half her size and showed me the negative and positive exponents she'd found in an article on the formation of the universe. What we just learned that morning! Right there in real life! And then later, she lugged it up again and said, "I think I just found out how stars were formed!" You can't assign kids to tackle nonfiction reading that dense and difficult. They have to want to know. And when you realize that you've planted the seeds for that curiosity...Boom.

The day when your sentence observation and word observation come from a song you can sing together: "Accentuate the Positive," the 1944 version sung by Bing Crosby.

The day that ended with a student coming up and asking you, "Is there something nice that you could do for yourself after school, because I noticed that you met your goal of smiling more."

Here's to the day after the dark day. Here's to the light at the end of the tunnel, or at least the light that leads you around the dark curve.


  1. I feel like I'm mired in those days right now. But I also know late September often feels this way, and things will click soon.

  2. Anonymous7:49 PM

    This post made me a bit weepy, in a good way. Hugs.

  3. Yes and yes. Thankful that I have friends that can put those days into words for me.

  4. I needed this more than you know. Here's to the next day which makes all the dark corners worthwhile!

  5. Here's to teachers who spread light, even when dark days confront them.

  6. Mary Lee, I see a poem here: Dark Curves, High Beams? I don't know what you would call it, but I see a poem here. Thank you for sharing your insights, as always. Your sharing is a lighthouse -- your words, a beacon. Keep smiling; I hope you did treat yourself, as the student inquired. I suggest you buy your classroom (and/or yourself) a lightbox, to remind yourself that sometimes a "flip of the *switch" is all we need (plus time & space help, too). Wishing you all the time and space you need to feel the light, Mary Lee. Appreciate what you share, deeply! Lisa *a mental switch

  7. "Latch on to the affirmative, and don't mess with Mr. In-Between."

  8. Thank you for your words. It uplifted me in so many ways. Grateful.

  9. Thank you for this - it captures a truly authentic moment of learning. And cheers to that librarian - a person after my own heart.


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