Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Forward, March! 

A march is a sort of forced forward progress, and sure enough, the weeks between public school vacations have us heads-down.

Teachers share forced smiles as we pass in the hallways between blocks. Students forget their work, get surly when we speak sternly to them, lose their focus when we don't: I play odd covers of their favorite songs in a desperate attempt to lighten the mood; sign their hallpasses OKUP, and wait to see which ones will get the joke. Little works for long.

I've given over my planning periods to a dozen instructional sessions with a rotating crowd of seventh graders -- math classes who generate charts from Olympic medal data; Language Arts classes interested in learning how the rules and environments for formal writing mandate format and praxis in Microsoft Word. As with all such partnerships the coteaching is more work, both in developing curriculum for others and in teaching students whose names and tics I cannot know. I tire from duplicate delivery, lose track of which audience has heard which dumb joke.

More ominously, a familiar tingle has begun to spread from waist to calf as I shift my weight from right to left. The back spasms alarmingly after a long day on my feet. An archival search for herniated in the blog calls up a serious walk down memory lane, but no sign of my biggest fear: that herniation means no child-carrying; that I might miss the last few months of Cassia's carry-on days.

Still, there are signs of spring-to-come.

Yesterday I arrived home to find my daughter and her grandmother playing happily in the woods, lightcoated and hardly cold. Sunday the lawn teemed with robins.

It was warm and bright in the sun today out front of the school, waiting with my yearbook charges for their respective rides.

Two months after the old one sparked and died, a new dryer finally arrived this afternoon; though the delivery tore up the muddy lawn, Darcie's already made it through the first three backlogged clothesloads. I think we all look forward to reclaiming the basement from the mountain that was, all this time, our unwearable wardrobes.

Four weeks to vacation, then: a week in sunny Florida, shopping and sand, a change of tempo. From there the days are numbered; a glorious teacher's summer lurks ahead, countably close. Forced and driven we may be, but forward progress is forward progress.

Ah, March. The lion roars, but the lamb in the distance grows ever nearer.

posted by boyhowdy | 6:47 PM |

I hope your back is OK.

One note about the robins: They are delightful to watch, but usually are harbingers of lawn-eating grubs. An alternative to Grubex: Grubs are great treasures for kids to dig up with spades.
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