Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing!
It’s winter cold season around here. My son came home on Friday with a low fever and has been coughing ever since. I started getting the cold on Sunday night, my daughter started getting a sore throat Monday morning, and my youngest started the sniffles last night. I’m a baby about being sick. So, last night I went to bed early, woke up an hour later, tried to steam away my cold in a bath… which ended when my 8 year old woke up coughing. I spent the whole night taking small naps in between waking up to him coughing, giving him water, cough drops, etc. This caused me to stay in bed too long this morning, leave my house at the last possible second, and arrive in my classroom just a step ahead of students.
As I unpacked my laptop, and organized my morning things, students were crowding around me, sitting next to me, talking about how tired they were, how they didn’t feel good, how they had been wishing for a 2-hour delay… (Me too, guys. Me too.) The general feeling of blah was all around the room.
I wished for just a moment that I had some nice (quiet) independent work they could do. A word search! A journal entry! Read to self! But, I knew we needed to gather in our morning circle, so gather we did.
“Wow,” I said. “It seems like maybe I’m not the only one feeling discombobulated this morning… Other people are telling me they are tired and sick, and wishing they were back in bed…”
Students nodded and agreed. So we did our “rose and thorn” activity. Going around the circle, students shared a thing they were not happy about today (thorn) and something they were happy about (rose). As we went around the circle, it became clear that I was right: everyone was tired, or had colds. As one student remarked, “Everyone’s sick! This December sickness is killing us!”
But, listening to the roses was just what I needed. Basketball games, grandparent’s visiting, holidays coming, and my favorite, “But my rose is, I’m alive!”
We ended our circle with a 1-2-3 “clap,” and we were off to math. Some days are better than others, and I can’t wait until all the sniffles and coughs are gone. . . but I plan to try to keep remembering the roses.