MY KIND OF RHYTHM

By | 2017-09-25T11:29:11+00:00 September 18, 2017|Character, Middle School|

BY: SALLY VAN GEEST, GRADE 6 TEACHER

I am not a musical person. I can’t clap to the beat, piano lessons were lost on me, I never learned to play the recorder, and I just don’t get rhythm.

Musical rhythm, that is.

What I do understand is the rhythm of the school year.

It flows through me and frames my life – my memories and experiences, my work and play.

I have been participating in the ritual of school since I was four years old. Yes, that is a very long time. In fact, it is probably fair to say that I do not really recall life without school.

September through June, September through June…September through May…September through June, September through June, and so on.

Year after year the familiar pattern plays out.

First, as a student, and now, for many years as an educator, the 10-2 cadence runs through my existence.

Anticipation, excitement, nerves

 I just love the newness of a school year but really, after 47 first days, why do I still get butterflies?

Relief, comfort, contentment

Ah, the sweet spot! I like routine, organization, and I absolutely love learning. What better place to be than in school?

Busyness, stress, fatigue

So much to do, so little time. That, or I’m just very skilled at procrastination! There always comes a time when I become overwhelmed with something and I just get tired. Possibly that is now more a symptom than when I was eleven years old, but it is certainly a part of my reality nowadays.

Anticipation, joy, freedom

As much as I love learning and teaching, the promise of a change in the rhythm dangles in front of me like a treat just out of my reach. Finally (or so it seems), I grab hold of the reward.

SUMMER!

No alarm clocks, no bells, no schedules.

Slow mornings, late nights.

Time to read, time to visit with family and friends, time to explore this world.

Rest for the mind, rest for the body.

The interlude of summer allows for a break from the ritual of the school rhythm.

But that’s all it is – intermission.

Restlessness, fidgetiness, boredom (Dare I say it?)

Almost every summer there comes a point when I crave a return to routine. I begin to see many summer experiences as springboards to new lessons in the next school year. It’s happened – I’m ready. I love my summers, but I also love the work that I do! It’s the rhythm that makes sense of me.

Anticipation, excitement, nerves

It starts all over again!

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