Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Quiet Wednesday Morning

I went to sleep with a headache, and despite all my efforts to ward it off with medication and extra sleep, it was still there when I woke up.  I made the decision to go to school for the morning, put the day in motion and prepare for tomorrow, and see how I felt for the afternoon.

As soon as I got there and faced the glare of the florescent lights, together with Student B greeting me by shouting in my face, I knew I wasn't going to make it through the day, but the first two periods in the library would be okay, before they went to TAA and I prepared for the afternoon. Some with outstanding work and writing to catch up on, and everyone with a new reflection on some of the learning we have been doing,  I knew there was lots for them to work on, in the morning and then later in the afternoon.

Everyone was present this morning, but as we went off to the library, Student A chose to go to his extra gym class, which made us both happy, and also made for a nice quiet start. With only my class in the library, and not everyone needing a computer, they spread out throughout the space. no one sitting too close to anyone else, and Student B sitting in the corner beanbag chair. Before we even began the library was quiet, and as they settled around the space, I wished we could spread out like this more often and was extra happy for it today.

I didn't have to give any reminders, or manage any behaviour, as they were respectful of the space and me, once they knew how I was feeling- one of the funny benefits of letting them know I have a headache. I dimmed the lights and set the music. I went through the usual prompts, the breath count and focused breath pretty quickly, not rushing but not talking too much. I reminded them that they know what to do and how to breathe to find what they need. Then we moved into the silence and I sat down and joined them.

As we were doing all of this, the only other people in the library were two grade 8 girls who were working on a body systems project, in which they replicate the entire human body. As I sat down, I noticed they had opened a picture of the lungs, and I whispered to keep it open and work in a different tab, which they did. When the meditation ended, I brought their project and the picture of the lungs to the attention of the class, showing them how big our lungs really are, stretching from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the rib cage, illustrating how long it takes to take full, deep inhales and exhales. It was one of those perfectly timed teachable moments, and then it was done, everyone got to work, and I was grateful for the continued peace.

My switch class came about 30 minutes later and I was again grateful the continued peace. The students also seemed pretty happy to be in the library, and immediately spread out onto the beanbag chairs and other parts of the library, and got ready to meditate. A couple of kids even chose to sit on the floor. For the second time that morning I didn't have to give many reminders or manage any behaviour. Everyone got comfortable, and though some were sprawled on their chairs, everyone was still and silent.

I turned off the lights and started the music, again moving quickly through the prompts, count and focused breath, encouraging them to inhale the strength and confidence to work and write, and exhale the fear and worry that blocks them, before enjoying the silence, which they did.

I would have too, had my head not been pounding and the pain not moved into my eye. I was still very grateful for the silence, and instead of sitting up, I put my head in my hands and massaged my eyes. At one point I lifted my head and noted the people passing by the window, and imagined I must have looked very strange, but didn't really care because I was in a lot of pain.

As the track ended, I was grateful for the moments of silence, my classes, and the fact that I was going home to bed shortly after that. Again I was grateful that the next 30 minutes went by quickly and quietly, kids got work done, and that I have a job that allows me to take care of myself instead of suffering through the pain. When my students went to TAA, I booked my sub, did what I had to do, and was home before lunch.

I hope the afternoon at school was as peaceful as the morning for Mr. Y and my students, but whatever it was I am glad I slept through it, and when I woke up my headache was finally gone, as we have a big day tomorrow.

After tomorrow we will also be done to a one-hand count....6 more get-ups to go and already Thursday. Hope you have a happy day!

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