Thursday, August 27, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Slow Down and Connect

     I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
Usually I choose a topic for the week, but this week, one didn't come to me until this morning.  Feel free to link up your post about any topic that you needed to write about today!
I recently subscribed to Pernille Ripp's blog, Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension.  I knew about Pernille through The Global Read Aloud initiative, but I had never heard her speak until this summer.  She gave a powerful mini-keynote at NerdcampMI, an amazing conference put on by the Nerdy Book Club folks for educators, authors, illustrators, and anyone else who loves books.  I even got to sit by her at dinner.  I'm loving her blog posts - full of reminders of why we teach, who our students are, and the power of reading and writing.  This morning I STILL wasn't sure what I was going to write about until I read her post today.  You can read it here.
My favorite line:  "We hurry so much at times in our urge to get to everything that we forget that we are not here to teach content, but here to teach children."  I need this reminder all the time.  I can feel that familiar clench in my stomach, the dull headache, and the grinding of teeth - all as a result of the overwhelming amount of content we need to teach.  I've reread both my pacing guides multiple times over the last couple weeks - 5th grade and 6th grade ELA, and I get that sense that I need to HURRY UP and teach it all NOW.  NO TIME TO WASTE! NO TIME TO TALK!  NO TIME TO DAYDREAM!  NO TIME TO CONNECT!  NO TIME TO SAUNTER!  NO TIME TO LAUGH!  NO TIME TO HAVE FUN!  NO TIME TO PLAY! NO TIME TO TELL STORIES!  NO TIME TO CREATE!  Oh, my.  Get the picture?  Sound familiar?  Sound TOO familiar? 
Time to slow down.  It's only August.  As much as I know I have a ton of content to teach, I also know I have young human beings in my care.  Children who need time.  Time to talk, time to daydream, time to connect, time to saunter, time to laugh, time to have fun, time to play, time to tell stories, and time to create.  We'll get to the content, and we'll work hard.  They need that, too. However, our most important job is to help our students feel safe, connected, and loved.  Yesterday, as one group of students were coming down the hall, I exclaimed, "Here come some of my favorite people!"  You should have seen the smiles.

Slow down.  Listen.  Breathe.  Connect.  Our students need us.




  1. I listened to On Being this week to a podcast about creativity. For creativity to work, we must have time, time to play, time to practice, time to think. I agree with your post. Let's slow down. It's only August.

  2. Breathe, slow down, be grateful for the little hearts sitting in front of you-wonderful message of hope for all teachers, Holly. I met Pernille in person at ILA15. Her presentation was powerful and full of inspired thought. Her post complimented my thoughts this morning. Thanks for the link.

  3. Thank you!! Needed to read this today.

  4. You are a gift from heaven to your students.