Returning to Ritual — Clutching the Familiar in a Year of Great Change

I get to school early. When the sun is not quite yet up. When the school doors are still locked. When the hallways are quiet. And when the school is peaceful. It is my ritual.

My coffee and I head down to my classroom. I sit. And I write. I don’t check email first, I don’t go through my mail first, and I don’t talk to other teachers first. First, I write. I write to clear my head and to center my thoughts. I write because I teach children to write and if I am not a writer myself, how can I teach them what writers do?

Today my writing is happening as a blog posts because today the thoughts feel heavier than usual and I need some place to put them down that feels more permanent than the documents I save into a giant internet cloud. Today is the first day of a school year that I hope will be different than all my other years. Today is the first day of a school year where, inspired by many I have met online, I give my classroom back over to the students. Today is the first day of a school year where I will work to take our learning outside of the walls of our classroom. Today is the first day of a school year where I will do my best to make our learning and our work more meaningful and relevant to the world. Today is the first day of a school year that will bring about a whole lot of change.

And so, amidst all this change, I find myself clinging to my morning rituals. I need to feel something a little bit familiar. And so. I write.

Here is to an incredible year of learning. For me and for my students.

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