Sometimes when I sit at my desk catching up on emails or reading articles or thinking through a lesson, I stop and listen to my school’s sounds.
A basketball bouncing on the concrete court outside my classroom window. Kindergartners calling to one another as they play a make believe game. The gong of the big iron bell at the edge the playground signaling a group to gather and head somewhere new. A group of readers talking about a book in the classroom around the corner. Teachers walking down the hall chatting quietly with each other. The buzzer at the main entrance. Footsteps on the stairwell. The sound of a stapler attaching something to a bulletin board. Laughter in the front hall. People sounds and sounds made by people.
Late in the day, or early in the morning, most of those sounds are missing. It’s overhead lights humming, the occasional click as a door opens or thud as another shuts, the tic-toc of the second hand on the analog clock that hangs above my classroom entrance, and the steady drone of traffic from the busy road that runs parallel to the school. Machine sounds, not people sounds.
It’s the people sounds I love best.