I have been in a ton of meetings recently. It is that time of year that I have the great opportunity to meet with staff individually and talk about their goals for the year. I appreciate the opportunity to connect one on one with each teacher and listen to their journey as a teacher. But these meetings and the many others that come up in the job that I do take time. And I always feel a little unsettled when I don’t spend my usual amount of time in the classrooms and hallways that I love.
I keep a plan book. (Yes, a paper calendar book that holds my day to day comings and goings. Many friends further down the road in technology tease me, but I enjoy that paper and the colored scribbles of meetings and things to do each day.)
A priority that I make each week is my time in the classrooms and moving throughout the building. So when I find that I am scheduling too many meetings in the office, I start to also schedule that time in the classrooms. I keep in mind the priority to always stay in the work that we do in schools. And that most important work is with children.
So today I took myself into the hallways to listen, observe, connect and learn. I smile and receive the warmest smiles, waves and hugs of children as they pass by in line. I quietly remind particular students to use safe feet. Today I sat in a first grade class as they celebrated Jaguar Day with the Spanish Team. I am always amazed by these incredible days that our children celebrate culture and show off their Spanish learning. One student in particular gives me a discourse on favorite colors and how they change… all in Spanish!
I walk into classrooms that have hands on learning and mom volunteers all digging up to their elbows in frosting. I hear teachers connecting with their children about the importance of relationships and how to write thank you notes.
I am amazed when I discover city and county officials taking time from their busy schedules to talk with our third graders and answers those very important third grade questions like what does a judge mean when they call to adjourn for a recess.
As I move back to my office to sit in another meeting, I reflect on the work that schools do. I love the amount of energy and buzz that I can find each day in the learning at Joyner. I love that I can be surprised each day by the incredible journey our children are taking with their teachers.