Messy

Whomp! That’s what the first day back after a holiday feels like.

I am beginning to question my own sanity. A whole year of blogging lies ahead – I announced it on Twitter, so I can’t go back. Good thing I started on January 2nd. Saved myself one day.

So the messy part of my blog. First it is a double entendre – I am a terrible stacker, and as the days and weeks flow by I stack and stack and stack. Chaos ensues.

“Ms. Inden, do you know where the stapler is?”

“Um, well….”

“Where’s the tape?”

“I last saw it somewhere on the side counter, but….”

My students learn to put their work only in special marking bins. Anywhere else is not safe, including my hand. I’ll put it down, and not find it until I designate a weekend to unbury my classroom.

Oh sure, I invent new ways to organize myself before every semester. Bulletin boards, folders, filing cabinets, file boxes, more plastic bins. In the end, the fast pace of each class defeats me and I stack.

A day at school is messy. It goes beyond the clutter of novels, textbooks, posters, handouts, newsletters, magazines, resource catalogues, newspapers, and crafty bits. People are messy, too.

Students miss school at inopportune times. I miss school at inopportune times. What I want to teach, and what students want to learn don’t always line up. What I thought I was going to teach falls by the wayside as I readjust in the moment to meet student needs. Pacing is tricky. Meeting curricular goals can be overwhelming, if not impossible. Finding materials that are culturally relevant and at an appropriate reading level takes years of research (and shopping). Group dynamic is everything. Some groups work better than others. Some students can read, and don’t. Some students can’t read, and don’t believe they can. Some students read everything, even in the middle of my lecture. Some students think school is about doneness, not learning. And then there is assessment. Talk about messy!

It was good to see the students today and to find out what they did on their break. We geared ourselves up to finish the semester- we have a lot to get done. My room is relatively organized, as I spent several hours over the weekend getting sorted. Let’s get messy!

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