Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chaos and Comfort

The past two days have been crazy.  One would think that the children would come back from Thanksgiving break in a food coma, but they actually come back all the more ramped up for Christmas.  My classroom management skills are getting a legit workout lately with these holidays.  Thankfully, I have a handy, dandy Christmas countdown on my board in my classroom, so that I can also see how close we are to the end.  I can't believe how quickly this semester has blown by me.  I feel like I say that in every other post, but it really is mind-boggling to me that I have been a "real teacher" for six months now.  I've taught lessons, been observed by my bosses, gone to conferences, had successes, messed up badly, and found lots of places to laugh in between.  In short, I'm counting my blessings in a big way lately.

A particularly chaotic thing happened this morning.  My principals (all three of them) came to my room at 7:40 looking like they were bringing a death sentence.

"Jessica, we've got some bad news."
Oh, great......
"Your heat is out, so you'll be teaching in rooms where the teacher has a prep period until its fixed."
Did I mention I was giving a test today?  This kind of chaos is perfect for seventh grader concentration.  Perfect for annihilating it.
My response: "Ok, thanks for working it out!  Just tell me where to go!"  With a big, huge smile.

I taught my first three class periods in three different classrooms.  Nothing like a little chaos to spice up a Tuesday.  Honestly, I was a little worried that it would affect their module test scores (and behavior), but, as it turns out, I should have a little more faith.  All things considered, their behavior and focus were great.  They made me look pretty darn good on the seventh grade hall.  I'm always proud of my students, but I was especially proud of their monitoring and adjusting abilities today.

In addition to this chaos, there were also a couple new (or newly realized) comforts added to my school life today:

1. The principals bought a Keurig coffeemaker for the teacher's lounge as our Christmas gift.  That beats a poinsettia any day in my book.  Yes, I had two cups of coffee, and yes, I ate one of the accompanying homemade cookies that were brought to ring in the arrival of the coffeemaker.  I deserved it. Remember, my morning was chaotic.
2. I realized, yet again, how lucky I am to work where I work.  I value knowing that I work somewhere where I am comfortable.  It was so comforting to be able to play musical classrooms this morning and feel like all those teachers were totally on my side, even though I probably did put them out.  It was comforting this afternoon, when my principal complimented me on a lesson I taught last week.  It is comforting to know that I work in a place where I feel appreciated and like I'm part of something special.

I know that last part is borderline cheesy.  Or perhaps terribly cheesy.  But it's also true, and I think it's something that very few people experience or realize that they experience in their workplace.  Therefore, I am choosing to celebrate both chaos and comfort today.  Happy Tuesday!

Only 26 days until Christmas.....

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