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I’m in the middle of a deep sleep, dreaming I’m riding horseback at sunset or sitting listening to David Gray sing Silver Lining when suddenly blasting sirens interrupt my peace forcing me to open my eyes. I reach through the darkness to stop the horrible honking and will myself awake. It’s 4:45 am. Time to get ready for school.

Before my feet touch the floor, I’m thinking of things to be thankful for. This cuts off all thoughts of wanting to climb back under the covers. Coffee! At this moment I’m very thankful for coffee.

It’s been years since I’ve taught full-time. And years since I’ve had the freedom to teach my own lessons, given only the Standards and allowed to create from there. The joy that this brings me is incredible, surpassed only by the joy that I feel being around the students. They’re independent, curious, searching to understand themselves, leaving their elementary years behind and becoming young adults. Sixth graders can go from perfectly peaceful to screeching laughter in two seconds reminding me of my own days in sixth grade when my math teacher, Mr. Jones, would tease the quietest of kids (me) just to bring them out of their shell to have fun with everyone else.

I’ve only been in the classroom for three days. There are over one hundred names to learn and personalities to understand. I’ve been called Ms. R.,  Ms. Raisin, “What’s your name again?” and K.D. I’ve given eight author presentations, and next week we will begin reading MYSTIC. We’ve discussed disability, what it means to be paralyzed, wheelchairs, racing wheelchairs, inner strength, and treating others as we wish to be treated.  I’ve introduced my favorite books and encouraged them to learn about the authors who’ve written their favorite books. We’ve journaled and practiced vocabulary words on Quizlet. I’ve been handed four stories created by students to read over the weekend. Never before have my two worlds, teaching and writing, come together so perfectly.

I’m excited for this two-month journey in middle school. I hope I can teach the six graders as much as they’ll teach me.

Here are some more of my posts on teaching:

Bad Teacher or Bad Parent Teaching Students About Disability