Today wasn't my favorite day. I was frustrated with myself, with my profession, with just... everything. I spent most of the day feeling like I wasn't a good mommy, a good teacher, a good friend or a good wife. The pieces of my life felt like the jumbled left overs of a puzzle that you spend time trying to jam together, bend the cardboard a bit, and make them fit, but never quite work.
Then, one of the awesome kindergarten teachers I work with stopped me and told me that one of my friends was included in her guided reading group today and rocked it!
This seems small, yet- this is a student whose been put in an "intellectual disabilities program" because she wasn't thought to be able to handle the general education curriculum. She's worked and worked and we've worked and worked and we slowly realized that she maybe COULD at least spend time in the general education classroom. We pushed her in for morning meeting- a low key, community building, no stress time of day.
Then it was reading workshop. Reading centers are another low stress part of the day where she could work in the classroom with her gen ed peers but not be under any pressure to perform. That went well, so the kinder teacher and I decided to take a leap of faith and push her in for actual guided reading.
Guided reading may be the most important part of our day. It's a small group where we as teachers work our little readers hard- not letting one moment slip by without squeezing in some teaching point or chance for academic work. It's right beside peers, working along with them, all reading simultaneous to themselves.
And yet, she rocked it. She apparently sat with a group of other students, listened to the book introduction, read the book to herself, and answered questions about the book. She wasn't given lower material than the other students just to be included- she was doing what they were doing.
I could dance on the clouds.
The rest of the day still felt like trying to make a puzzle from lost pieces, but every time I think of my friend I have to smile.
We can do hard things.