Gosh, it's been weeks since I blogged. So much for a second round of #28daysofwriting. I've spent much of the last 4 1/2 weeks in bed with some - as yet diagnosed - gastro illness. I spent a considerable time visiting the hospital for testing and rehydration. Ugh. Things seem to be stable and manageable for now.
I came back to work this week with quite some trepidation: not having kept down much food or water for a few weeks I'm quite fatigued. You all know that I have an awesome class and I LOVE being with them. BUT... They are preteens and I'm under no delusions about the energy required to do what I do with them.
I shouldn't have been worried.
We've all had the experience of coming back into the classroom and having to spend considerable time peeling kids from the ceiling after less than wonderful experiences with unfamiliar relief teachers. The VRPs were blessed with a wonderfully enthusiastic and creative brand new teacher, Lisa Connolly, for most of the time I was absent. (She also happens to be a parent at our school and most of the kiddos have known her for years, which certainly helped I think.) I'm genuinely thankful for the immense amount of work she put into keeping the class moving forward and holding true to our class culture.
The upshot of Lisa's efforts was that my return was super smooth. The kiddos were pleased to see me which was, of course, delightful and what's even better: they were eager to settle back into our routine without the usual vent about the 'other teacher'. (Kudos to you Lisa: I've never before had a relief teacher exempt from that.)
Monday mornings always start with a Play Is The Way game. We were standing in a circle with four balls going every which way and somehow an impromptu version of the Hokey Pokey started. Oh bless. Watching my preteen kiddos putting their "whole bodies in and shaking them all about" was the best energy boost I've felt in weeks. The giggles and the high fives as we headed back inside reassured me that no matter how flat I feel my kiddos can - and do - provide the energy for our class to thrive.
A step forward in our literacy block, a geometry lesson, and starting a "Town Hall" renewable energy project rounded out our day. I went home exhausted, but happy.
So: thank you Lisa. We look forward to having you back in the class. And thank you VRPs. I look forward to tomorrow. And the next day. And next week. And so on.