I finished the draft of the (rockin awesome) proposal to my principal in hopes of inspiring her to let me teach a boys writing class twice a week this year. Dude, that's a really long, terrible sentence, but I am tired and that's just how it's going to stay. My apologies. Sort of.
Writing this letter brought up so many hopes and fears for the upcoming school year. Being a part of the National Writing Project has (drumroll for the oncoming cliche, please!) been a life changing experience. Like, clouds parting, sunbeams streaming down, Hallelujah angels singing, and all that jazz.
We're toppling into July, I haven't had one summer-ish day in all of June, and all I can think about is the many exciting new things I'm eager to try out in my classroom come August.
I want to take all this knowledge, all this affirmation, all this ALLNESS from the past month and wear it like armor into the oncoming school year.
Because, although annoyingly optimistic, I'm not stupid.
I know what is likely to happen upon settling back into my classroom. I can hear the, "You want to do what??" and "Why are you causing so much extra work for yourself?" and all the other darts that will be thrown my way, popping little holes in my puffed up "But this is how it's supposed to be!" perfect world dreamland.
And sure, I've always been the one to head upstream, vigilantly shouting, "Let's try it this way!" when everyone is staring at me like I'm wearing the Emperor's New Clothes. I get it. I'm the girl with the crazy ideas that are sure to fail...
Only, they don't fail. And when they do, I revamp, and come at it from a new direction. My excitement makes my kids excited. They can't even help themselves. They're uber-peppy by association. I love to read, they love to read. I love to write, they love to write. I love to do jumping jacks, they spring out of their seats and cheer like I just announced we're going to Disney World.
It's an interesting thing, attitude.
So I'll cling to my realization that --wow-- there are so many other teachers out there that think the way I do, and I'll stand firm on my belief that what kids need is a teacher dedicated to toughing out the hard parts with them and cheering with them in every victorious moment --no matter how small-- and sometimes, just sometimes, when I'm verging on forgetting what's important, in the face of TAKS tests and standards and assessments and paperwork and meetings and insane schedules and seemingly impossible and annoyingly unnecessary hurdles, I'll close my eyes and remember 16 women writing quietly together every morning, sharing through tears, learning new ways to climb mountains, and above all, celebrating in each other's "muchness".
(How's THAT for long and rambling sentences that spread out before you like a road untravelled?)