For probably the first time since I started this job 5 years ago, I actually feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m feeling confident (most days) that I’m doing a pretty good job and some days I even feel like I’m not quite so behind on the work load. Professionally, I am really happy right now.

This fall has been a “go, go, go” term for me… yes, I know, every teacher feels this way. Part of this feeling of always rushing around is the whole not knowing where I’ll be teaching until mid-late September. Then there is the new-to-me grade I’m teaching, the Master’s degree, the blog facelift. I’ve been enjoying *almost* all of it, but it’s just been busy!


About three weeks ago I started to feel very overwhelmed with everything going on. I had a paper due, I was behind in marking and planning, and somehow I committed to a few extra projects that I wasn’t planning on doing this year. The past (long) weekend has been the light at the end of the tunnel for me on the busy train and I used it to catch up with friends, relax, and not work. A needed reset.

On Monday, I headed to school feeling happy, healthy, and ready for the week. We started the day off with yoga – and it actually lasted a whole block with 5 minutes of QUIET breath work at the end. (Quiet in my crazy, full of energy, life loving grade 6 class is nothing short of remarkable). I was feeling great.

But I spoke too soon…

The rest of the day was filled with emotional traumas, student disagreements, arguments and upsets. It really felt like we had forgotten how to treat each other.


I think part of what happens is that I spend the first 6 weeks of school really focusing on building community and routines. Then somewhere in that mid-October range, with report cards looming, we hit the curriculum hard and don’t look back… Until we have to stop and re-evaluate. The reset needed to happen.

Learning can’t happen if we don’t feel safe in the classroom.

For my class this week we are taking a bit of a step back. We are going to start the day with community and compassion work. We returned to our class contract. We made a list of expectations around how we treat each other and how we arrive/act in class. This is the reset we needed so that we can get back to learning in community.

Three expectations for my class this week:

  1. We smile and say hello to our classmates in the morning
  2. We talk to the people sitting next to us
  3. We show respect by listening, not waiting to talk

Anyone else in need of a reset? I highly recommend it!