Coffee in hand, I began my morning walk around the school.
First stop, kindergarten. Children scurry from cubbies to play spaces, greeting classmates, getting right to work building, playing and drawing. A few call out “Good morning” to me. Teachers say hello and goodbye to parents, easing students into rooms and the day ahead.
Down the hall to first grade. It’s quieter there. Small groups cluster in corners of rooms. Teachers chat with students while gathering materials for morning meeting and reading groups. A reserved boy raises his eyes for just a moment from his book and half smiles at me. I smile back and mouth the word “Hi.”
Second graders are away today, off to Jamestown to explore a place they’ve spent weeks wondering about, so I pass their classrooms and round the corner, say hello to two art teachers and head into the empty stairwell. Up one flight, I pass the science room and wave to the teacher who is gathering what she needs for her first group of the day.
As I arrive in the fourth grade area, I see some students writing, others reading, one or two in quiet conversation with a teacher. A few greet or wave to me, but most are focused on morning routines. A teacher stops me in the hall to share a brief update. I thank her for keeping me in the loop and continue to third grade where one group has already gathered on the rug to start their day together. In the other two classrooms teachers are working with individual students. Most heads are bent over books and drawings. I smile and wave, say a few more “Good mornings” and head to the other set of stairs that marks the end of my daily loop.
As I head back to my room and to do lists, my one little word for 2019- joy- comes to mind. This. These children and colleagues. This simple morning routine brings me joy.