It’s been a tough day and it wasn’t until the day was half done that I really understood why. As I mentioned yesterday, I was reading my narrative on the Fox River Grove Bus Crash today.
I share this story yearly with my students for a multitude of reasons. What I find most powerful is the impact on the classroom community. Reading this piece really adds an exclamation mark on the “classroom community.” It draws me closer to my students and I think my students feel the same. It’s a risky piece to share but, ultimately, it’s so worth it.
The students see me at what is easily my most vulnerable. I don’t really worry about my students’ reactions to my reading the story. I don’t really worry about how I’ll look if I cry while reading it. And I usually have to fight back tears. I am at the point that I just don’t worry about sharing the story.
So when I lose sleep the night before sharing the story, I’m taken aback. I slept very poorly last night. I was essentially awake from 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. When I finally fell asleep, it wasn’t a good sleep. Strangely, I’m not sure why I couldn’t sleep. Sharing the narrative didn’t consume a single thought of mine last night, though I remember feeling preoccupied. In hindsight, I know I was bothered with the fact I was sharing the story. When I finished, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I felt instant relief.
Student reaction is what you might think. Some kids cried. Most had nothing to say. Sometimes they ask questions, but usually they just sit and think. This year was the first year that I focused on transition words and breaking the piece apart using a plot diagram. That’s when I knew they really got it.
It’s always worth sharing this narrative. The first time I read a student’s work in which they take a chance, it’s worth it. When I have students tell me that they’re sharing a very personal piece because I shared one too, it’s worth it.
So, it’s time for me to climb into bed and sleep. Tomorrow will be a good day. Tomorrow’s are always good.
Oh, here’s one for the road. This video was recently released featuring Dog Blood. Dog Blood is a project by Skrillex and Boys Noize. The song, “Next Order” is an absolute banger. I actually find the video to be smartly done.
Until Next Time,