Today, I'm celebrating community:
1. The room 202 community. With each passing year, I feel less and less a sense of community and amity among the people I work with. But each passing year brings a wider circle of students and their friends who have come to look upon our room as a community. At our holiday party this year, we had sophomores visiting from college (my very first class of sixth graders), sixth grade alumni still in our building, my current classes, and their friends. Our room represents a place of connection, and tremendous affection. Our community draws me in to work every day with a heart open to new possibilities and satisfactions, it allows me to rise above petty negativity, it sustains me...especially when I spy a note like this:
I received texts of joy, support for the effort, and (from Elizabeth) this:
the garland we created in 2007, the last one for which Elizabeth was home when the project began. In the texts that flew between us that evening (I guess I should also celebrate technology - which allows us to "reach out and touch" each other every day!), I took joy and comfort in the community that is my children: three very different individuals, with very different lives and chosen paths, but one community of shared memories and love, which is always there to sustain and come home to.
3. My writing community...here at A Teaching Life, and also here:
and now here:
It is so inspiring to touch base with this community just about every day to learn about our teaching lives, our daily lives, our trials and our celebrations. We know of family member to welcome, and those we've bid goodbye to. Of new endeavors launched and new challenges wrestled with. Of beautiful views we've seen, old friends we've connected with, and new relationships we've begun. Of thoughts, inspirations, puzzlements, worries and consternations. One of the best things about NCTE was being able to connect to that community in person - to make it more "real" somehow. And so I celebrate my writing community - fellow educators, writers, poets. Friends.
4. And, finally, I celebrate this message. posted on Patricia Polacco's Facebook page:
...it's a message I want to take into each and every day.
Happy holidays, my friends. Enjoy the season's gifts of family time, love, rest and new beginnings. I'll be back...next year!