I was ready with THE speech. Had been since about 5 AM when I woke up and knew exactly what I needed to do. All day I was waiting for that class to come in, to tell them that there was a new sheriff in town, and yes, we have been having fun, but we are wasting too much time and it is time to get serious. Ugh, sometimes I hate serious but my meager 45 minutes doesn’t allow me much breathing room.
There they came, eager as always, happy to be in our room, not so much because of me but because of all their friends and the discussions we might have. I was ready. Counting down the seconds until their usual raucous nature would erupt. Almost holding my breath, running the words I had rehearsed through my head. “…there will be no more of this….the time is being wasted….serious….pay attention….things to learn….” I was ready.
Except, they didn’t start. I started teaching and showed them our deadline. I showed them how big of a time crunch we were in. I told them I was serious, that I meant it, and that the world would practically fall on our heads if we didn’t make this timeline. Ok…So they got to work, they started speaking to each other a little, so I figured now was the time. I started my speech, ready to be asked hard questions, ready to be challenged, or even interrupted. Instead they just looked at me…and then kept working.
It wasn’t perfect today. It never is. But for a moment I had forgotten that we have bad days and good days. That sometimes our bad days seem to last much longer than they really do. And sometimes our good days don’t even count because they must have been a fluke, right? And sure, there was talking, and sure there are consequences, but they were not the ones from my head. They were not the ones I was ready to dole out. Kids change. Sometimes from day to day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I am hoping for a good day.
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.