Last night before I left, I finalized my schedule for today. I looked at the list of things to do, meetings to participate in, and observations to complete. I knew of certain students I needed to connect with as well as staff and parents. Before I even started my day, my first text came in with an adjustment to my schedule. And that began my day filled with opportunities to bounce. Not many things on my “list to do” landed in my “list accomplished” today. But I also reflect on the incredible moments I had from those unplanned turns, am grateful and the see the opportunities in them. My list can continue to grow as I move it to tomorrow’s list. Rework it because that is our work that is never done.

I think about the classroom experiences I had today. I watched as a second grade teacher completed the first step in her small group. She asked if the students understood. One particular outspoken young man quickly spoke up and just told her “nope”. I wondered what the teacher would do. Calmly she turned in her chair towards the student. She began to pull her visual example out again and explained patiently in a new way. The lightbulb sprung and he quickly explained it to her. I think about how teachers all day have these zigs and zags in teaching. Teachers prepare their lessons. They consider how students might find a challenge in the work. They discuss with their colleagues what they could do just in case that happens. And then in come the students and the lesson comes alive. Once that life happens in the classroom, teachers are prepared to move and adjust to the learning with students.

I see so many moments in my day at Joyner where teachers have to take that turn. I hear teachers ask students to reflect on their learning and give feedback on their understanding. I watch as teachers bend down at student level to really see what students are trying and listen to how they process. Our children take the lessons our teachers plan and bring it to action.

Living life in a school teaches the adults to keep bending and moving. We continually keep trying new strategies and coming up with creative ways to bring to life the learning and growth for our students. We wake up each day ready for anything because we work not with lists but we work with these little people who bring their own selves into the learning place. Our students keep us moving and bouncing and adjusting.

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