Today, I looked around my classroom, at the students working at their seats, at the four children in front of me discussing a story we’d just read, and like an unexpected gift, it struck me that my class was flowing the way I imagine it will every morning before the kids arrive. It didn’t last long, this beautiful collection of seconds. It never does. One of the kids is distracted by a pencil shaving or a leaf wiggling on a tree outside the window, another has an urgent need to visit the nurse, another decides I need to know what their pet tortoise named Thomas did last night. Teaching is like driving a tractor trailer loaded with explosives, but without brakes. You know you’re guiding the whole operation in a general direction, but you’re not sure exactly where you’ll end up, nor in what condition you and your cargo will arrive. It’s exciting, sometimes scary, and things are constantly jumping out into the road. But often enough, there are moments when the road is level for a stretch, giving you a chance to look around and enjoy the fruits of your labor. These are the moments when you feel that maybe, you know what you’re doing and that what you’re doing is working. Parenting feels similar, but the trip is a whole lot longer and more beautiful, with many more interesting and frightening twists and turns, more complicated directions, and the cargo is a lot more explosive. And the trip has no end.
302 days old