Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Day 36- Thankfully Typical Tuesday

The peace with which we begin each morning is truly remarkable to me. In my presentations, when I meditate with teachers and other adult learners, at the end of the meditation when I room is quiet and still, I comment that the silence in the room is very similar to what I experience in my classroom on most days. As I have begun to document my experience on a daily basis, I am amazed to notice how true this statement is, and it is only November.

I had each class, one after the other, in periods 1 and 2, which is really nice as morning meditations are especially peaceful, as they were this morning. I began with my homeroom and everyone was there, but Student A was happy to put his head down, as was everybody else.

It was silent from the beginning, as I moved through the prompts, the breath counts and guiding the to inhale what they needed- positivity, confidence, focus- and exhale what they didn't- the negativity, the fear, the distraction. We moved into the silence, and it was silent in the room and that was how it stayed.

Outside there was nose. The students coming around looking for computers weren't terribly loud, but they weren't quiet either. They stopped short of banging on the door, but made their presence known, at least to me. My students were unbothered and didn't move when they heard the noise.

They stayed with the meditation as I got up, opened the door and told the girls they could use the computers in a few minutes. They stayed with the meditation through the noise in the hallway, that I thought was the girls and opened the door a second time to check, only to realize it was just the usual passing noise, and I didn't need to open the door. It had only added to the noise. As I closed the door and everyone remained unmoved, I realized it was only me who had been disturbed, which bothered me in the moment, as I hate being the one to cause the noise. I realized later that my need to check the noise came in part because I had already been interrupted and was standing by the door, and in large part because I felt I need to protect my students from whatever was happening in the hallway. It backfired of course, as these things often do, and in the moment I was annoyed with myself, as well as super impressed with my students. Not one had moved. I took the last few breaths with them and was grateful.

As I ended the meditation, before our usual inhale of a full deep breath and exhale to stretch, I asked them not to move too quickly. I suggested they inhale their power, noticing how they had made the choice to stay with the meditation, not be disturbed by the outside and maintain their power, and to exhale their willingness to give their power away too quickly, to pay attention when they give in to distraction or negative thoughts. As we took a couple of breaths, I told them how proud I was of them and their choice to stay with the meditation and keep breathing, and the respect they showed for each other, by not looking at the noise as an invitation to disturb everyone else's meditation. It was a remarkable start to a pretty busy day, I'll take it,

My switch class came 40 minutes later at the beginning of period two and also settled very quickly. I had been out of the room when the classes switched, and they were all ready to go when I got back two minutes later. We went through the same prompts, breath count and focused breath as the class before, and as we moved into the silence I looked around. I saw my breathers breathing, almost everyone else with their heads down, and Student 1, who seemed to be in his own world. He was quiet, but he hardly stopped moving.

Student 1 was not moving to call anyone else's attention, he was just moving. He was moving his heading, looking up and down, left and right, pausing for a moment in each direction. Then he twisted his body in both directions a couple of times before he finally finished moving and put his head down for a few breaths. At one point, it seemed as though Student 1 noticed that I was looking at him and so I smiled at him. I wasn't sure if he saw me or not, he just kept doing what he was doing until he was done.

As he settled, I did too, closing my eyes for the last minute or so, enjoying the stillness, grateful for the silence and another moment before the busy day ahead.

And a busy day it was, with projects, preparing for a French test, and the United Way Trivia Night at the end of the school day, which turned out to be super fun and a very successful first experience. In light of the upheaval in America and the events in the crazy world, which are scarier than I want to think about, I am grateful for my school, my colleagues, my students and my classroom practice, where I can do what I can to make a difference every day.

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