If I Squint My Eyes to Make it Blur

#sol21- August 24, 2021

The day started well- we set an intention to be grateful, sang “Happy Birthday” to M, the last one to turn 10 and the continued with Morning Meeting. At the end of the meeting, after we had greeted, shared, done an activity together and worked on number visuals we could squeeze in one more thing.

“When are we going to use the book you told us to have ready?” T asked.

“You are reading my mind!” I answered. “I am going to put you in your own breakout room for you to read for a few minutes. Ms. Nhoep, Ms. Takayo, and I are going to get to as many breakout rooms as we can in the next few minutes to have quick conferences with you.”

I sent them on their ways, but they were clearly confused- a breakout room alone.

I popped into the first one and asked M what he was reading. “ Still Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” he said.

“Will you read me a bit from where you are?” I asked. He did and then hesitated on the word “phony”.

“Do you know what that means?”

“No, but maybe it means fake, not real,” M answered.

“You just used some real reading skills, figuring out the new word while you were reading,” I said.

We were actually having a real discussion about reading- a great beginning of the year reading conference. If I squinted my eyes to make it blurry I could almost believe he was in the classroom next to me instead of at his home on Zoom.

Those feeling like we are in the classroom moments are the ones I hang onto in these challenging times. We are not sure when we will be in the classroom together, but we are gradually building routines that will serve us well online and in person.

I got to confer with a few readers today as did the TA and learning support teacher also “in the (Zoom) room” and it felt just right.

10 thoughts on “If I Squint My Eyes to Make it Blur

  1. I love the hopefulness of this post and how I can hear you talking with your student. How much longer? We are in person this year but already (after one full week) have 8 cases and 60 quarantined. Not a great way to start the year…

  2. If only it were that easy…squinting your eyes. This speaks volumes about teaching right now and all of our desires to be in the company of children. Your students are so lucky to have you…and I’m sure you feel the same about them.

  3. How cool that you conferred like that! You are making it work! How are you liking the new grade level? We start next week, in person, in masks. Fingers crossed….

  4. I’m both saddened and hopeful reading this post. I love the peek into your “classroom” and the details about your reading conferences. I’m heartbroken you’re still in Zoom school and what that says about our country. Things didn’t have to be this way.

  5. I’m glad to hear your finding ways to work around the limitations of distance learning. It’s hard (or so I’ve heard — I haven’t really had to do it), but you’re right about setting your class up with routines that you’ll eventually bring face to face. I hope that happens sooner rather than later!

  6. My eyes blurred reading this, and I wasn’t squinting. (reaching for tissue) May there be so many more of these incredible moments for you this year.

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