Once Upon a time

“One upon a time, there was a boy who was invincible,” he whispered, breathing in deeply and filling his lungs with knight superpowers.

The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast-Samantha M. Clark

I read this line this morning. The “Once upon a time” section appears throughout the story as the main character talks about himself. I am not sure why it struck me but I thought about it all day long.

This year has been especially tough. Not because of any one thing I just am finding it difficult to find my groove. Like I am having some kind of teaching identity crisis. Which is ironic because I just finished talking identity with my students and we were creating webs. I know who I am and who I want to be as a teacher but it is like there is almost a fog that has come in and the path is not quite clear.

I love literacy work, I love to read with and to my students. I love to hear their thoughts and reflections around a text and see the beautiful words they string together. Today they reflected on moments in their lives. Writing beside pictures or items as I take the advice of Kelly Gallagher in “Write Like This”. We reviewed Notice and Note signposts as I took a moment to just sit in the brilliance that Kylene Beers and Bob Probst brought into my life.Students reflected this week on the words of Rudy Francisco and we discussed the Worlds Deadliest animals. Would anyone else have guessed a snail kills more than a shark? The power of media…

This year I have felt like there are moments that I am losing what I think is important chasing after extras.The next big thing, the cool new activities. Following these folks who think good teaching is standing on tables and performing for, instead of working with our students. The pull to be an author over being a teacher. Listening to the noise over noticing the needs.

So I start to reflect, I start to adjust. Back to the basics.

We Read, We Write, We Share

We don’t need a fancy formula. We don’t need a production. Engagement doesn’t come from glitz and glam. It comes from purpose. Authenticity.

I am adding work to our routine that addresses Social Justice and Anti-racism not because I feel students are being missed or disenfranchised because our demographics are pretty slanted one way. I am doing it because the world is diverse and I want my students not just prepared for it but I want them to embrace it. I don’t want them to enter the big beautiful diverse world with only a few experiences they might have gathered from a handful of books. I want them to be curious, inquiry driven minds that want to solve the problems of the world because they see the injustice that is so prevalent. We are going to do this through books and experiences. There are so many already doing this work beautifully and I hope we can add our hands to it.

The fog is clearing.

Once upon a time, there was a teacher, he knew what he wanted and where he was going. He got lost for a minute. But I think he has been found.

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