Slice of Life: On Edge




It is March fourth and I have SLICED each day this month. Huzzah, huzzah! slice

This morning did not get off to a good start. Right  before I got in my van and headed to school I noticed that our dog had some fun with our bathroom garbage can.


After cleaning that up, I started rushing around a bit and dumped my entire cup of coffee all over the floor in my van.

The Frozen soundtrack calmed me down a bit on my drive to school. My kids were at my parents’ house, so it was just me, my empty cup of coffee, and “Let It Go”. I picked my kids up at my parents house and started chatting with my two fifth grade brothers. My son was telling them about D.E.A.R., and they told him about how they read for the record yesterday. I asked them about what record they read for. I like to think that I’m on top of the reading game, so not knowing about this record was a little alarming. They informed me that they were trying to help break the record for most AR test taken in a day. WTH! (what the heck) – This made me throw up in my mouth a little. I have no problem with doing a whole bunch of reading in a day, but celebrating the taking of AR test is pretty depressing.

Things got a little better when I got to school. I vented a bit to my teaching partner and principal. When the school day started I could tell that I was on edge a bit, but I tried to pull it together for the kids. I was in the middle of a reading conference with a boy reading a Michigan Chillers book when my principal dropped off a cup of coffee. With the first sips of that coffee, I felt a lot of the tension drain from my body.

I spent most of the day a little bit on edge, but my students and I had a blast. It is amazing how far a small act of kindness can do for a person. Doing something nice for someone was not really on my radar this morning, but it was on my principal’s.  I shared with my students my bad morning and how much Ms. Haney helped me get back on track. We had a great chat about it.

Here’s to a better tomorrow!


18 thoughts on “Slice of Life: On Edge

  1. Yeah…somedays are just like that. Perseverance is a wonderful thing in those cases. What a thoughtful principal who provides listening to venting AND a cup of coffee AND a discussion starter. 🙂


  2. Your slices make me feel like I am living your life. I did not enjoy the garbage incident or the coffee disaster, and I have to say I agree with you about the AR test challenge. But the small kindness of your principal reminded me that we should do this more often: Notice and Act.


  3. How do we end the AR or Reading Counts obsession? Is it because it is an easy way to assess student comprehension (at the lowest level)? Why is it so popular around our nation? I loved your post about Morning Announcements. Did you use I-movie? It looked effortless yet so child-centered! Thank you!


  4. I wrote today about my dislike of AR too! I so wish our corporation would see the light…teachers too. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle. I am so glad your got better! I love the American/Michigan Chillers. That series saved my son as a third grade reader!


  5. I love how you modeled that you can turn it around. Kids need to see that – often they get stuck in that bad place and don’t see how to turn it around — what an important lesson they observed today. Not to mention an act of kindness… so nice.
    Clare and Tammy


  6. Must be that time of year. I posted about being busy – and how to be busy, calm and focused rather than busy and acting like a monster. Glad you have a supportive principal.


  7. You are very blessed to have a principal which a heart to help. I also know how it feels to be a bit on edge when life happens at home but you’re still due to be at school at a certain time. I have been so relieved that my school stopped giving AR tests this year. We never had an celebrations, but it was not meeting our students’ needs as readers. I guess you have to applaud your fifth grade brothers’ school for attempting to celebrate reading, but your point is well taken in that they are really celebrating test numbers. I wonder how many students at your brothers’ school thought deeply about the texts that they read and enjoyed it instead of rushing through just so they could take a test.


  8. I’m not a fan of AR tests, but I do have some students who want to amass a huge amount of points. In some ways, making an AR goal is more about time management and planning, which many students need to learn. Since we now have the online AR and students aren’t as limited in their book selection, I feel a little better about it. It can be used poorly, I agree, but is not inherently evil.


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