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Opportunities Abound

Consider seven surprises from the start of the year:

  1. A 6th-grade girl dancing and leaping like Isadora Duncan all by herself. Easily 100 yards away from everyone out in the fields by our school–a happy little pink speck twirling and flickering across the grass.
  2. An 8th-grade boy handed me a knitted blue heart on his way out of class and said “there’s a really interesting project going on with these”: The Peyton Heart Project.
  3. I saw $25 dollars in cash outside. I’m “used to” seeing kids’ smartphones left unattended outdoors, but we’re doing cash now?
  4. The student who said: “I. Am. SO. Going. To. Raid. Your. Bookcase.” 
  5. And then there is the email titled “Writing” from a student on Sept. 3rd.
  6. And the boy who wore a full Spiderman costume to Picture Day and the rest of the kids didn’t blink.
  7. And the magic that happens when we provide kids colored chalk, an asphalt surface, and time.

Educator’s curate and plan. Administrators curate and plan. The top-down model of “doing business” is real. Yet, so much of our vocation is steeped in holistic responses–the “intimate and inexplicable connections”–generated within our small communities.

The seven surprises shared above may seem unconnected but that isn’t true. They all have something in common.


I was there.

And each act of creativity, sincerity, or folly can be impacted by my responsiveness…or silence.

I haven’t shared if or how I may have responded, but I know I can be better. I am reminded that, even after twenty-five years in the classroom, we have so much to learn…and give.

Opportunities to give emerge in unexpected ways every day.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. dianeandlynne #

    Reading this made me remember my classroom days and surprises. I love that you chose to write about them. Thanks for providing this uplifting piece. Have a great year!


    September 14, 2019
  2. Mary Buckelew #

    Thank you for sharing — what a wonderful piece! Such amazing student gems and cliff hangers — and you leave us with such important reminders and inspiration. I will carry “Opportunities to give emerge in unexpected ways every day” with me as I navigate my classes next week.


    September 14, 2019

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