Lest We Forget

No matter how long you are in the classroom, when you step away for a stitch, you immediately start. The more time, the more you morph from experienced teacher to newborn fledgling.

After four years out, it all comes flooding back…

The little pencils personal best competition held by every elementary school student in the history of the world.

Nearly falling after rolling on one of said little pencils. How on earth does that physics compute?

The magical disappearing powers of glue sticks, erasers on the ends of pencils, and caps of markers.

The times you catch yourself saying, please open your eyes when you walk or I’d rather we didn’t take this time in math to teach everyone the worm.

The opportunities you get to just go with it, like say, when your kiddo brings a frog to school in his backpack. Bam! Frog Inquiry.

The thread you get to pull through from the beginning of your day to the end of it, to the next day, to the next, to the next.

How you end up doing the wiggly arm balloon man celebration that the resident dancer created and that’s just how you and your crew roll.

That you do in fact have residencies: a dancer, an artist, an animal expert, a tech whiz, a mediator, a teacher, a ray of sunshine, and they’re all ready for anyone who needs em at the drop of a hat.

The collection of clattering change for book orders when kids scrape the bottoms of piggy banks to buy books themselves and your book loving heart might just burst out your chest.

So, yes. A lot of things come back after you’ve stepped away for a bit or a while. Yes, Some make me want to pull my hair out. And many leave me exhausted at the end of each day.

But I have a wiggly arm balloon man celebration and a ray of sunshine to turn it all around.

And that just makes my day.

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5 thoughts on “Lest We Forget

  1. This is and will always be at the top of my list of favorite slices of yours. The tension – the stress, if you will – of the trials and tribulations of the classroom teacher that slowly morphed into the beauty and joy of the classroom teacher. Very masterful, Kim! You captured both sides of the coin – because we are never just one side – AND you ended with what is most important.

  2. I, too, stepped out of the classroom to coach for four years. Now in my second year back, I can completely relate to this post. In addition to being reminded of all the little things I lost track of while coaching, I moved from 22 years in middle school to third grade! I wouldn’t change a thing.

  3. I have a post in my drafts called “Lest I forget again” about this very thing! You do capture the joys of returning to the classroom and it makes me reflect on my own experience in a way that pushes the nagging negatives out of the way and makes room for the positives that far outnumbered the times that I wanted to pull my hair out. My favorite line above, “That you do in fact have residencies…” this imagery of experts in their field will stick with me. Thank you!

  4. I love your description of the wiggly arm ballon man. My little one calls them the FUNNY GUY. She is constantly on the lookout for THE FUNNY GUY. Her favorite is on 159th near LaGrange. He’s very patriotic in his red, white, and blue.

    And now I have a slice. 😂

  5. You capture so much of the big and small moments of teaching in this slice- the tiny pencils, the resident experts, the kiddos who spend their last on books. A perfect slice!

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