“It’s going to be a great day!”
The familiar jingle of my Monday-Friday alarm calls for me to put my feet in my slippers and begin a new day!
I’m finishing my morning shower and preparation routine by now and heading out the door for a brisk walk with our black Labrador Retriever. Meanwhile, my husband leaves for his morning cycle or run.
It’s time to make coffee and, as it brews, the school lunch boxes call my name! Each day, I race the coffee pot; before the coffee ceases its brew, I try to have lunches packed.
Done with lunch preparations. I reach for what I need to prepare a breakfast of open egg sandwiches with cheese and avocado on sandwich rounds. It’s going to be a good day!
I tap on my daughters’ bedroom door, enter, and gently pull back the curtains until a stream of light cuts softly through the darkness. Time to begin part 2: prepare other people for a great day! While they dress, I read a quick devotional to help prepare my mind to stay focused.
All of us are ready and dressed, eating breakfast and drinking coffee. This is the calm before the storm of “grab hair ties, please brush your teeth, do you have your library books, put your shoes on, and don’t forget to….”
We get in the van and spend a few moments chatting about the day ahead. Less than a block away, we are saying our goodbyes to husband/daddy, as we get out of the car on Huangyang Lu, and my husband continues on to work.
The bell rings at Concordia International School, and I am reminded of how thankful I am to teach elementary school students! I hug my daughters, one walking up the stairs and one heading down. I smile, knowing that we are together in the same building.
By now, my 2nd family has arrived, and I get to begin the day with community time. My students and I discuss any and all “exciting happenings” since we were last together, and we quickly move into our Mathematical studies. 3rd Grade students begin to learn multiplication, and the minds of these young learners explore and share strategies that undoubtedly will lead to exceptional, life-long problem-solvers.
We’ve moved on to a social studies lesson on Chinese folklore. The rich conversations are due, in part, to the amazing life journeys of such a diversified student population. We discuss character types, analyze life lessons, and dialogue about ways we can write meaningful reflections.
By this time, the students are beginning to ask when snack time will begin. A mere twenty minutes until a snack/recess break, we push through with a focus on the study of words. The students are thankful for a rotation of handwriting, typing, or word work, ensuring they are working on multiple areas of personal growth.
By this time, I am thirsty. I squeeze in a quick trip to the water container, while the students are happy to be outdoors. I am happy to have a moment to look at their work from the morning, but it passes quickly, as I also want to read and respond to a few emails.
A quick trip to the restroom, and I hear footsteps in the hallway. The students are returning from recess, and their quest for water bottles and restroom breaks gives me one more minute to greet them at the classroom door.
It’s time to teach Reading and Writing Workshop, and we are preparing for narrative writing pieces, so today is a day to meet with small groups. Meeting with small groups of students is one of the best ways for me to find acute areas in which each student wants to demonstrate growth. These days are great for ongoing conversations regarding the students’ goals as well as how I can help them prepare!
I walk with students to the lunch room, listening to the eager chatter of students who have absorbed new information and need a small break.
I go back to my room to review a few more writing journals, refill my water bottle, and eat my lunch.
It’s time for our Read-Aloud, and the students love our current book, “Because of Winn Dixie.” We discuss important parts of the story as well as discuss story elements that may be similar to other stories we’ve read.
I say farewell to my students, as they leave for Mandarin instruction and Special classes.
The school day officially ends, and I am off to connect with my daughters.
It’s then to dance rehearsal for my oldest daughter
The rush of afternoon dance, chores, homework, meetings, and email replies is over, and it is time to sit down as a family again. We discuss the highs and lows of the day, commenting on how we can learn from the lows. We discuss things that were both frustrating and encouraging.
I help my daughters get ready for bed, continuing to talk about the Concordia community and its loving people. The stories that are shared bring both encouragement and inspiration to contribute.
We do our evening devotion as a family and say goodnight.
I’m back on the computer, eager to share good news of events within the classroom and happy to see emails that include compliments to our class of respectful young students.
It’s time for tea and a conversation about events from the past, in the present, and for the plausible future.
I can feel the energy of the day begin to wane, and my eyes begin to feel heavier. Despite the fatigue, I know that it was “energy well spent.” The energy expended was for a better purpose, and I feel as though my mother’s words ring in my ears, “my dear, bloom where you are planted.” It’s amazing how those around me, those that have watered my flower, allow me to bloom even fuller!