Slice of Life: Finding a Rhythm

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

My wife and I were chatting the other night with a friend of our eldest son. This friend just became an elementary classroom teacher so my wife and I are checking in with him, regularly, and cheerleading him through the start of his career.

We were talking about settling down into a rhythm, and I admitted to him, even after so many years, I am still trying to find that rhythm of my new school year days, three weeks in. There is a flow that I know happens, where lesson planning and curriculum design and daily schedules and student stories and administrative busywork … it all eventually comes together so that there is a rhythm of the days.

I’m getting there, I told him, but I am not there yet. (I think he was relieved that a longtime teacher felt the same way as he was feeling, although I know he is experiencing the craziness of newness more than I am – I still remember those days).

Meanwhile, our Music Special had to take part in the classroom yesterday because of some classroom space shifting in our building for cleaning (mold). Our new music teacher has been teaching drumming and patterns. As I worked in the back of the room or wandered in and out, my students were using drumsticks on their desks to pound out drum patterns she had printed out for them.

Mostly, it sounded chaotic, but every now and then, they found a beat together, and the click click click of the sticks on the tops of desks became one solid sound, and I thought, there’s a metaphor in there somewhere about working as one and making music together in the uncertainty of flexible learning in a Pandemic.

So I am ending this slice on the idea that began it – my students and my classroom. Call it circular writing rhythm.

Peace (on the two and four),

  1. I can hear the sounds of the clicking and feel the rhythm. It is so caring if you to check in and cheerlead the new teacher. Now that’s something that deserves a drumroll!

  2. Whenever I changed positions, I gave myself three years to feel like I was an expert. Finding the right rhythm is a good metaphor. That drumming takes a level of patience to listen to.

  3. It’s interesting that you and at least one other Slicer are writing about rhythm today. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I don’t feel like I’m in the groove of the school year yet. It takes time to feel like we have our “sea legs.”

    Your son’s friend is fortunate to have you as a mentor!

  4. Love your analogy being a former music teacher myself. Oh, how I remember those drumming days and the joy of synchronized sounds however fleeting.

    I also love that you are checking in and cheering on a newly minted teacher. They need all the support they can get. Kudos.

  5. Seeking my rhythm this year- we are many weeks in, but online still…It does take longer in these covid times. How nice of you to be checking on this newer teacher!

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