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I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Friday, September 7, 2012

roll with the punches.

[phrase] of the day: roll with the punches; to adjust to things as they happen

Fall is truly one of my favorite times of the year.  I find that as soon as the first football game hits television I suddenly want to bust out my crock pot and drink chai tea lattes every night.  Fall also means a new batch of students that arrive on my doorstep.  A new batch of kids to enlighten, inspire, encourage.  A new batch of kids to convince that Nicholas Cage really is the worst actor ever and that Harry Potter will change their lives if they can just make it past the second book (the important stuff, you know?)

I'm now 16 days into the new school year.  I've already caused one uproar over my disdain for the guy with the phony accent in Con Air and pushed Harry Potter onto at least 3 kids.  My carpets are now littered with paper scraps, my chalkboard is coated with a thin layer of chalk, and I've broken one mechanical pencil (which, my fellow teachers may know, is the real tragedy so far).  

It's in these moments, when I'm sifting through 30 emails during my plan period and sorting through piles of papers on my desk that I wonder, "Hasn't it always been like this?"  When did I go from summer Molly to a crazy person?  It seems to start as abruptly as it ends.  So, 16 days in, I wanted to remember a simpler time. A time when there were no student desks in my classroom.
My new student desks were set to arrive a week before the first day of school.  The chairs came.  The desks didn't.  Teaching has taught me the importance of rolling with the punches though, so the picture above is of Tess and me standing in the middle of my kumbayah circle on day one.  Who wouldn't want to start out the first day of school in a giant circle talking about their summer vacation? 

(By the way, that's not really a fair question considering very few 9th graders actually want to be in school on the first day).  

I enjoyed the kumbayah circle.  The kids did too (even if they'd never admit it).

Student desks were set to arrive by the last week of August (which as you can guess didn't happen), but Thursday of this week, lo and behold, there they were.
What does it say about me that A.) I've already dedicated an entire post to student desks or B.) I woke up Thursday morning in the middle of a dream that my new desks had arrived?  

Desks aren't really the point, though.  The point is that sometimes, instead of going in the direction you thought things would go, you've got to roll with the punches.  Adjust to the new normal. I thought I'd have new desks on day one.  Instead, we made do until day 15. But we made do. 

Have you ever noticed that life doesn't always just flick you on the nose and send you on your way unscathed though? That sometimes it up and punches you in the stomach so hard that you lose your bearings a bit and forget which way is forward?

When you roll with the punches, once you catch your breath you keep taking steps forward.  You put one foot in front of the next even if the sidewalk is covered in fog.  You take a step onto a staircase even if you can't see the last stair.  You write analogies even if they lack a clear purpose.

Or something like that. You keep moving.

You should know that I didn't go two weeks sans desks.  We made do with tables in the interim, and I think the start of our year was better because of it.  

With my desks now soundly in place, I felt like now was as good a time as any to give you the virtual tour of Classroom de Flinkman or "The Room of Perpetual Learning" as I just decided to start calling it.  I think it will catch on real nice.  Welcome!
Just a part of my quest to teach kids that struggle means growth and failure leads to learning.
My formative assessment grids.  I'll never go back to the old way of collecting exit cards.

This week's Word of the Week? "Pretentious"
The reading corner.  My personal favorite space of the room.
Great words from some great literature.  Thanks for this one, Aimee!
Desk against the wall?  Smartest decision I ever made.  This is in the pre-school, pre-clutter, pre-student phase.
And last but not least, the newest addition to my classroom: Primrose.
Thanks for touring!

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