It has been six full school days.
Six days of remembering names and sometimes still getting it wrong.
Six days of questions. Of answers. Of repeated directions and pointing to the right place. Of saying yes more than no, of smiling wide to make sure they all see it.
It has been six days of feeling like everything is taking a long time. Of not getting enough done. Of not having any assessments yet and feeling like already I am behind.
In those six days, we have read our own books, perhaps even abandoned a few.
We have discussed why reading is trash or magic.
We have set goals that matter to us and fit our needs.
We have started our reading check ins as we figure each other out.
And we have talked. A lot.
I have withstood the urge to have them write their answers and instead just talk it out.
I have withstood the need for silence and seen where the conversation will take us.
I have withstood my own imposed pressure of having them produce something in order for me to say; look I taught them something.
Every day instead of finding our pencils, we have instead found our voices and shared with each other. We have pondered. We have sighed. We have even been shocked.
The writing will happen. The assessment will too. But for now, we are speaking up instead of writing down as we figure out how this learning community is going to work. We are finding ourselves in the cacophony of thoughts and we are finding each other as well.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child, out August 2017. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.