Yesterday was such a crazy day at school. A teacher workday on Friday along with "The Great Event" for kids who had brought in at least sixty dollars for our annual fundraiser and hat day (for a dollar donation to Relay for Life) had them acting "squirrely." I was dealing with collecting parent surveys, field trip money (we're taking the 7th grade to see "The Hunger Games"), collecting problem solution essays, and simply trying to keep students focused. I was feeling particularly frazzled!
As soon as I could, I started conferring, trying to slow down the morning and unwind. I called N. to bring his Netbook and come see me. My students complete reading responses on Google Docs. I regularly comment back to them in the comment stream there, but I also like to meet with them face to face to discuss the strengths and needs I see in their responses and see what goals they have as readers. Finishing up my conference with N., I opened my notebook to record some notes. My computer "dinged" while I was writing so I knew I had an email. I decided to check it before chatting with the next student. I was not feeling as flustered, but still I felt tense from all the demands of the morning.
I sometimes get these little reminders to slow down (as I've already shared in my slice from Day 2). The email I read made me not only slow down, it made me stop what I was doing entirely! It reminded me that while all the things I had been doing that morning were necessary and a part of my life as a teacher, the most important part is listening to my students and helping them cope with some really tough life lessons sometimes.
Joselyn needed a hug ; everything else could wait.