Winding Down- An Almost Empty School



#sol17- June 13, 2017

Today is my fourth day of break and I can gradually feel myself beginning to relax. This morning I had promised to go back to school, so I did, but it was an almost surreal experience. We had an “Open Morning” at school and the principal had emailed more than a month ago to see who would be willing to come in to help out. I knew I would still be in town, so it seemed easy to volunteer.

This morning I dug out my id and headed out the door. It felt so funny to be leaving at 9AM. When I go to school it is still dark, so I saw things I never would usually see (including that a mall near school is nearly completed). My ride home from school takes me in another direction, so it has been a long time since I have seen that area in daylight. I felt like I was visiting a whole new place.

I knew it would feel funny to be at school without the students there, but luckily there were a few students there for the second day of the summer program. As I led my tour group around I tended to show them the areas where there were kids, because those were the ones that felt alive. It was strange to show an empty studio (where we have assemblies with more than 500 students), canteen with no food, a silent music room. We found one of the science labs smelling good, as young cooks were at work, a 5th grade classroom hosting second and third grade writers, an early childhood classroom full of students learning about Mexico, with plans for China the next day. It looked almost like the school I know, but not quite! I was lucky enough to see two of my students (weird to say “from last year” when in fact they were part of our class 4 days ago) and check in with them.

The parents I was showing around commented on the resources they saw- how lucky we are to have all those instruments, computers, the pool, and more. They were, of course, correct, but it really felt like they could not come to know our school without seeing it in action on a real school day. Our real resources are our students- lively and lovely- coming from 62 countries around the world. I wondered if they could picture their children learning and laughing there. I wondered what they really saw and heard as we walked around this nearly empty school. I am hoping that the pictures they saw and the questions we answered gave them the information they needed on this quiet “school” day so that they could get a glimpse of the school that I know.

Strange to know that I will not be back to school until near the end of July when I start to ready the class library for a new class (with the help of some wonderful volunteers from my “old” class. Now on to other adventures!



Third graders who still keep slicing! Juliet. (more to follow)

4 thoughts on “Winding Down- An Almost Empty School

  1. “Our real resources are our students” and also teachers like you! Kudos to you for volunteering to share your school with potential parents. Enjoy your break!

  2. I agree with you. A great school is NOT ” those instruments, computers, the pool, and more.” My school is a beautiful building and looks great on a tour. But the school to me is the students and the great staff. Something, we both agree on! See you Sunday!!

  3. It is a rare opportunity to see the familiar in new garb. I kept thinking about that as I read your post. Seeing it perhaps helps you to savor the now that does not include school. Your closing line inspires: “Now on to other adventures!”


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