Today I didn't wake up on time. No, I didn't. I hit the snooze button twice. And I didn't wear earrings that matched my outfit. I didn't mean to, but I was running late and then I forgot to put them on. I spilled my coffee all over my car. It is a good thing none of my students were around, because I would not have wanted them copying the word I mumbled as I tried to find the paper towels. At school I felt like my communication was off. Something was amiss. My lessons were crummy. My questions for understanding just weren't making sense. My jokes weren't funny (and everything is funny to a second grader, so I was REALLY lame.) I kept running over time. I lost my patience twice. Things just weren't going my way. Things were just consuming my mind. When I sat to work after school I felt so drained. That small voice in the back of my head was telling me I had made an impact in the classroom today, but it was a negative one. Then something special happened. Then he came back. One of my students forgot his homework and came back to grab it.
"Ms. Edwards, before I go can you show me one more time how to ungroup the tens? I just don't get it."
I was on the verge of tears after my evaluation of self. I managed to choke them back and pull out the base ten blocks.
"Sure." We worked for about 10 minutes, trying it together, and then I stepped back to let him work. He had it. He actually got it.
"Thanks Ms. Edwards."
That was worth it. But that wasn't all. He peeked his head back in.
"You are going to make a really great teacher next year. Your students are going to be real lucky."
Then I choked back tears for another reason. I am choosing to listen to this small voice instead.