Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome, My Old Friend

Dear Quiet Time,

It has been so long since I've seen you!  I apologize, but I've been pre-occupied.  With assessments, teaching to the assessments, creating assessments to predict assessments, and writing curriculum to embed the assessments it's been hard to see you.  I know, I know...it may sound like an excuse, or excuses, but it's true.  You see...

I knew, deep in my heart that I needed you, that my students needed you.  Some time to be alone.  Some time to be quiet.  Unwind from the noise of lunch and recess. Or even from all of the collaboration and discussion that happens during workshop times.  I know that their brains need a rest.  To decompress.

But, I didn't feel justified.  I felt like squeezing you in would be wrong.  Because I wouldn't be instructing.  I wouldn't be assessing.  I wouldn't be raising test scores.  I have now seen the error of my ways, of my thinking.  I know that I was wrong to ditch a friend like you.  And then, the other day, I decided to do a pop - in.  I brought my class along with me so that they could meet you.  

Can I just tell you how much they adored you?  They do!  They loved the absolute silence.  They enjoyed having extra time to do something they really liked; some read and other wrote.  They cherished how you gave them serenity; to forget about a disagreement they had with a friend at lunch or recess.  But most of all, they were in awe of how you made them feel special, and dare I say empowered?  The choice to do something for utter enjoyment, without worry of being quizzed on any knowledge they may have obtained.

Immediately, after meeting you they began asking questions.  They wanted to know when they could see you again.  If the next time you met, if they could visit longer with you.  They also queried if they could do other things with you.  They were eager to see you again. 

So now we visit you each day.  Each visit a moment longer.  Each moment cherished.  Oh...and they are so much more relaxed after their visit with you!  They are calm.  Eager listeners.  Prepared.  And on task.  You have had such a positive effect on them, and I can not thank you enough.

So, again...I apologize that I haven't seen you in some time.  But I am grateful that you have invited me back in with open arms.  I will never forget about you again.  I know how important you are.  To me.  To my students.

With Love,

Tracy