Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Unsettled Meet Grace

It is day eight of the new school year. I am still trying to get my feet under me when it comes to the new schedule, new PLCs, new buildings, new routines, a new common language and new to me ways of talking about the standards. All of my classroom things are in new places, new cupboards and new drawers. There is a new sequence to connect the projector and document camera, new Apple TV and new AirPlay mirroring. There are new log ins and new learning management tools, new teachers and new kids too.

New has high expectations. Whew.

It is easy to get overwhelmed at the start of a new school year. At Singapore American School in the days leading up to our start, leaders surprised me by talking about grace. Give each other, give your families, give your students, give yourselves, give a little grace as you face the demands of getting a new year going.

Grace takes a breath.

Grace assumes positive intent.  Grace gives us permission to fail or forget or forge ahead. Grace helps us to try again, to keep going, to work the tasks, one manageable piece at a time. Grace knows we will get to that sweet spot in the fall where routines take hold and you know all of the students' names and you know where you're going and who's on your team.

Though we are on day eight, I have seen my freshmen just three times, so in many ways it still feels like the first week of school. I am still getting routines in place. We set up our journals: academic and reading/writing. We started class with independent reading. We shared a word of the day. We wrote to each other.

Sentence completions and Dear Ms. S letters connect me to kids from day one. Love the reading and
writing strengths I see in their letters to me already! 

Familiar routines. Feels good.


  1. It's nice to take those familiar routines to a new place. How exciting! (Jennifer Sniadecki)

  2. Starting the school year with a message of grace - how wonderful!

  3. Grace takes a breath - so necessary this time of year when new is setting high expectations. Glad that familiar routines are there in your new setting. Have a wonderful year!

  4. I needed to read this today. As I am faced with lots of news (not nearly to the extent that you are), I need that word Grace. It's going to be a word I need daily. I love this: Grace takes a breath. Graces helps us try again. Grace doesn't mean we will get it right but that we will move forward and do better every day. I hope you have a wonderful year in your new, new, new life. I look forward to reading more about your journey.
    The letters gave me a great idea for a 6th grade project. Thanks.

    1. I hope you have a wonderful year too, Margaret, even as you face these new mandates and demands. Grace exists even in or especially in those hard spots.