The day started off with sprinkles coming down as I tried to unload my heavy cart from the back end of my car this morning. I pulled it behind me as I made my way into the building to set up for an 8:00 meeting I was presenting. No time to unpack my computer or check out my email. I had a last minute set of papers to run off for the extra teachers I was sure would come to the training.
That was the way the day started. It was scheduled full of ISTEP prep work, teacher visits, and other last minute details to handle. Then I got an invitation I could not refuse. One of the fourth grades was having a celebration of writers notebooks. I was invited to celebrate with them. How could I refuse?
I made my way down to the classroom. As I approached the doorway, I heard soft music coming from inside. The room looked dark. Did I make a mistake? What was going on? I carefully entered the room. The teacher was explaining the procedure for the celebration.
Each child had decorated their own writers notebook. The notebooks stood open on every desk with a child standing behind their chairs looking expectantly at the teacher. Their eyes were full of wonder. Their faces were glowing with anticipation. She told them they would wander the classroom and stop by someone's desk and leave them a little note of what they liked about the notebook cover. This was followed by their initials. A sticky note was stuck to the front of the desk just waiting for compliments.
I rushed out of the room and down the hall to grab my camera. This was too good to miss. It had to be captured. I got back just in time to watch them carefully walk from desk to desk. They would stop, write, smile and move on. No rushing. No pushing. No talking. The teacher was not standing back yelling out orders. This was totally child led. They oohed and ahhed over the pictures, stickers, individual designs that their friends had used to decorated.
"Where did you get the picture of that cat?"
"That is MY cat!"
Aww. he's cute."
This really was a celebration. Soon they will have the special day when they will enter their first writing into these notebooks. Another day to celebrate. Isn't that what school should be...days of celebration. Celebration of Learning.
Who care if the state test is in a few weeks. Our learning is for a life time...not just one week of testing! This is what learning and teaching is all about: Learning for a Life Time!