Friday, January 11, 2013

A Clean Slate

One of the things I love about the new year is the twelve untouched months that roll out in front of me.  I know that no matter what last year brought, I've been given a new opportunity and clean slate.  It's like waking up early in the morning right after a fresh snowfall.  Before the snowplow comes down the street.  Before the neighborhood starts to clean its walks.  Before the sun has had a chance to melt the snow on the pine boughs.  And, most importantly, before the kids frolic in the front yard and permanently alter the once flawless blanket.  Everything is new and untouched, breathlessly awaiting the sleds and the shovels, and in that moment, the possibilities are boundless.  Walking into my classroom each day, I am filled with that same sense of limitless potential - it is one of the best parts of my job.  Each day is a new one, fresh and untouched.

I am so excited for this year!  It holds the promise of new learning experiences and teaching techniques, new connections and understandings, and new opportunities for my students to reach their potentials.  Most importantly, we will be reading and writing more than ever.  Yes, we!  I, too, plan to be in the trenches with the kids more than ever.  Additionally, they will be making more choices about the books they want to read and the writing pieces they want to create.  Research validates over and over again the strength of student-choice in the classroom.  To that end,  I have already implemented more self-selected reading time into each of my literature classes, and, in composition, students are close to completing their first round of writing circles.  One thing's for sure, the air in the classroom seems to be more charged lately.  Could that be a result of more student-ownership?  Or, is it that the kids like the clean slate, too?  Maybe it's a little of both.  Here's to 2013!

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