Where did everyone go?

It is almost the end of the school year and where is everyone???  Less than half of our students are here this week and the halls are very quiet.  For the first time all year I have to look at the clock to judge how far we have progressed in our day.  Usually my day is punctuated by signals of time passing.  When I get to school there are a few teachers here but they are busy in their classrooms and I reserve that time for answering emails and other writing (like this post right now).  Then I start to hear greetings in the hallways as the rest of the teachers arrive and start checking in with each other about the upcoming day.  Of course many of our teachers have children so I start to hear their voices adding into the mix. There is a bit of calm before Mrs. Monroe or Mr. Nelson rings a bell to gather the teachers together for a verse and opportunity to share last-minute news.  After our verse the hallways gradually fill with greetings, laughter and the sound of purposeful steps.  Between 8am and the actual start of school, the activity and sounds build and I go into the happy swarm to seek out a student that needs an encouraging word, check in with a parent or give general greetings. Around 8:30 the last few parental calls of “Have a good day!” have faded and the halls are pretty quiet.

When the students are in the beginning of their day is the time when we can accomplish administrative tasks that need the most focus. This is the time for planning, writing, problem-solving and strategy.  Our morning punctuations are necessary band-aids, forgotten snacks, touring prospective families and phone calls with a fire drill thrown in sometimes for good measure.

Each part of the day in a school has it’s own tone, noise and beat.  I sense the beat in the urgency of the footsteps in the hall as children travel around the school on errands or head out to recess. In a few weeks I won’t hear the slow steps of preschoolers heading outside with their teacher singing a song.  I won’t hear a gaggle of third grade boys walking “very quickly” to my office to share their excitement about the upcoming farm trip. I won’t hear eighth graders rushing around for Pizza Day.

I will hear Diane’s sandals as she heads to the copier room.  I will hear Meredith humming as she shifts this year’s fifth graders to the sixth grade spot. I will hear Anais and Liz discussing outreach plans in measured adult voices.  The school will rest, it’s breathing will slow and become regular. The school will rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *