The stairs are crusty with dirt and damp with melted snow.
The hallways are alive.
Gone are the cohorts.
We are one school, again.
Schedules were carefully blocked and planned for the arrival of our entire K-5 population last week. We were ready, nervous, but ready, to bring the schedules to life. My work prior to the entrance of The Covid, always involved pushing in to primary classrooms for Readers Workshop. The opportunities for pushing in took a back seat in the hybrid model. Personally, I was ready to see groups of children for intervention that truly belonged together and I was more than ready to push in to both first, third and fifth grade.
Last week, I got to meet with a small group of first graders in the hall. Distanced desks leave little floor space to work in the classroom, so out we ventured! Last time I had read with Lillian, she was a developing kindergartener, a reader growing into herself, slowly. Last week, I saw a thoughtful, well taught, confident, Lillian. She was a reader. I was able to sit in awe and offer feedback. “Do we get to keep the book in our book bag like we did last year?” Both she and Natalie asked. “You bet. Remember not to put it back in Ms. V’s library when you go book shopping.” They both nodded knowingly, the routines of kindergarten carrying them into first grade.
I also had a fresh opportunity to push into third and fifth grade. In third grade, I had the opportunity to meet with two groups of third graders in the hall and listen to them develop theories about characters. I listened and learned where they were at with their thinking and their work. I had a chance to sit with 5th grade book club. This group was reading Blended, and their comments on Isabella’s struggles were so articulate and thoughtful. I listened and thought. I thought and listened. They pushed pushed me to find ways to push them.
We continue to educate, to do our jobs, in the midst of The Covid. It’s not easy, it’s scary sometimes. Each day, we move forward, knowing there will be challenges. But within those challenges are opportunities. Being back full time has given me the opportunity to reconnect with teachers and share the responsibility of knowing and growing readers one small group at a time.