September and May are quite similar. The rush of extra tasks, organizational and assessment related, consumes more time in addition to the everyday stress of managing a classroom. As educators, we are required to teach less and assess more. This is counterintuitive to what we all need right now. As we anticipate summer, the weather draws us outside more often: to run, to weed, to talk to neighbors in the late spring light of the day.
I find myself fighting the barriers of sleepy heads on tables in the morning, coughs and itchy eyes full of the high pollen count, while at the same time juggling the production of projects to show learning that has fewer and fewer minutes left.
"It is what it is" has become my phrase for 2012. I hope for it not to convey a message of sarcasm or lack of hope, but more a Zen-like awareness that we are not in control of many of the tasks we claim to own in our daily list of to dos. I hope to let go of the ownership I take when a child fails to engage during school. Instead, I have the role of creating a healthy, calming learning environment for students to remain for the next few weeks; to let them learn while they can, until my clock runs out.
My hope is to leave them with a love for questions, looking for learning, love for each other, confidence, and pride in what they can do, when given the space, time, and tools.