I’ve been trying to imagine what next year will be like, but it’s been a little bit hazy. Two years ago, I left my (beloved) first grade classroom to work as one of our district’s first literacy coaches. I’ve enjoyed coaching immensely and been given many valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth. It’s been a challenge I couldn’t have imagined even just five years ago, and I am so grateful that I had the chance to do it. However, as I considered making a longer-term commitment to coaching I realized that I really, really want to have more time in the classroom. The perfect position came available right before Christmas, and I made the very tough decision to take advantage of it and put coaching on hold for the time being.
So, two years after dismantling my classroom and hauling parts of it home, piece by piece, to be stored in my basement I am now faced with the job of hauling it all back to school and into a different classroom. The teacher in that room now is retiring at the end of the year and does not think she will be taking many of her things with her. In addition, it’s a different grade level, so some of my things won’t be as useful. I’ve been in the room, trying to see it with fresh eyes, imagining how it might look when I put my own personal flair into it…but I don’t have the vision yet.
That all changed in the middle of the Home Goods store today! I was wandering the aisles with an empty shopping cart, not finding too much that I wanted to buy for my house. I was actually feeling pretty good about not spending too much money, until I turned the corner and saw it—a pretty little blue stool. Instantly my mind flashed to an image of grabbing that little stool to sit alongside a student to confer. I imagined pulling it over to a gathering spot and calling the kids over to listen to a story. I saw a little one perched on it waiting to share some writing at the end of workshop. That stool belonged in my new classroom.
The worried fuzziness of the unknown lifted just a little bit. It will all work out—the classroom will come together, the space will fit for what I want it to feel like for the kids, and it will feel like “my space” again. It will be different, but also fresh and exciting. Now that I have my little blue “story stool”, I can envision that the rest of the classroom will fall into place, bit by bit!
Oh…and once I started finding treasures for my new classroom, I managed to keep the excitement going!