Saturday, August 9, 2008

Stop the train!


I can't believe how long it has been since I posted on this blog! I am caught on the fast train to the beginning of the school year! As a principal, it seems like I never really got off the train. I made a few quick stops to some peaceful moments (mostly reading books) but now we are full speed ahead. I need to constantly remind myself to slow down and think about the big things.

Since I last posted, I did read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, an epic of a story. Read the review on the New York Times. There were moments when I was mad at myself for starting a book of over 500 pages because I didn't have the time to read anything else but it was a real pleasure to have read this book. I quickly got drawn into this fascinating story. A satisfying read.

I need to start another book because I can already see how my job is consuming me. If I have a book I am reading, I will work hard for moments to sit down, relax with a cup of tea, and read a few pages. If I'm not reading a book, I am too easily drawn to my work - and there I go again - an unbalanced life! There are still books on my stack that I want to read ... so many of them inspired by Mary Lee and Franki at A Year of Reading.

I am wondering if our students start the year feeling like they have hopped on a fast train. Do we jump into routines and assignments so quickly that we forget our first goal is to get to know the children? Something to think about. How can we remind ourselves to slow down? Each and every minute we spend with our students should be like panning for gold. Scooping up the pebbles from the river of their lives and looking for the sparkle that makes them different from the rest. A work of patience but unbelievable discoveries!

6 comments:

Mary Lee said...

"Scooping up the pebbles from the river of their lives and looking for the sparkle that makes them different from the rest."

Love that.

katied said...

Karen,
I was just reminding myself about "being " with the kids...getting down on the floor, listening and giving each one of them time. Your thoughts and words are more of the reminding that I needed. Thank you.

Karen said...

Your last paragraph is so beautifully stated.

And I love your plan to always have a book available to be read. It does give life a focus of more than just "the job" -- even when it's a job I love.

Stella said...

I am so glad Karen you mention "getting to know the children" and not jumping on things so fast, so quickly without really knowing our audience. It is a great reminder for the beginning of the school year!

Bill said...

Nothing like a wind storm and major power outage to slow a train down. I don't know about you, but I'm getting plenty of reading done!

Mary Lee said...

We *heart* your blog! Missed you this morning!

http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2008/09/we-heart-these-blogs.html