An e-mail yesterday informed the staff that big changes are coming for our schedules; apparently, the number of enrolled students has significantly exceeded the estimate, and there will be a big shift to our schedules, classes, number of students, etc. I appreciated the ‘head’s up, the flare, the notice, and the loud FORE before the incoming is lobbed toward my bare noggin.
But again, it’s not about me. My preparedness or planning is only as effective as its intrinsic flexibility and responsiveness. Sometimes, many times, I long for a normal, set schedule. My sons’ school district has had the same schedule since they started in kindergarten. For my older son, that is eleven years of consistency. No amount of reading intervention, no new programs, no surprises. There are blue days. And there are gold days. Blue days are music. Gold days are PE/Health. It alternates on Fridays. Teacher workshop days are on Fridays, adhering to NCLB requirements. That’s it. The district has maybe shifted boundaries once or twice in the past eleven years. Maybe.
Since I’ve been in my district/school, the schedule has been different each of the five years. The programs have changed almost quarterly. The data has been presented constantly, and yet now, the data I really need isn’t available from the state. So much for informing my instruction.
There is no magic needed here (as much as I would love to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or turn someone into a newt)–it’s simple. Kids need safety. They need boundaries. They need consistency. If we never show them that the world can be a safe place, a place to take risks that are creative, a place where the world will help care for them while they grow and thrive, a place where time to learn and time to play are one and the same, then why, oh why, are we so surprised when they don’t know what’s due? What’s missing? What’s lost? What’s forsaken?
But I’m not hopeless or helpless. Recognizing that a Wendy-archetype needs to step in, with her polite mannerisms and threaded needle to patch and mend what others tear may be required. And even though it’s far more fun to be Tinkerbell or Peter, someone’s got to make sure there’s an adherance to bedtimes and behaviors. I’m finding my adult voice again, and transitioning back home. Change in a schedule? Fine. In the meantime, I’ll be guiding the lost boys and girls to a home in their hearts, or at least trying my best. Even the skunk boy.