You know those weeks where there’s something different going on each day or there’s something big looming at the end of the week? This week felt like two weeks. By the time Friday rolled around I was simply happy to see it.
Well, the last twenty minutes of my reading class brought me unexpected joy.
I had plans for that last twenty minutes, but they were so into this group spelling game I used to play on high school road trips. Actually, they were struggling as individuals with the game, so I pivoted and had them pair/trio up. This was a game changer. They excitedly whispered suggestions to their partners. They happily cheered each other on. They listened intently to the other groups, so they could strategize. They thought about suffixes, long/short vowels, and plural ending changes, even though they knew the objective of the game was simply to not spell a word.
I ended up pairing up with a boy, who just half an hour prior gave me smart retort after smart retort and I sent him to take a break in a colleague’s room for a few minutes. In the game, he and I listened intently. We strategized. We even created contingency plans if the players before us said something we didn’t expect. He smiled wide when we avoided being the team who took a point (you didn’t want points in this game).
The teamwork, the learning, the connection I made with this boy, and the way they floated out of my classroom felt uplifting after a long week.