Boy is it easy to get trapped in your own snow globe. The classroom, any time of year, is a busy place. As a teacher, I feel that I am always BEHIND. There is always work that can be done. I always need to dedicated more time to planning, more time to designing assessments, more time to analyzing student work, and more time getting organized for the thing that is up next. Sometimes I feel like my classroom and the world I move in is my own personal snow globe where visibility is not 100%. Left in my own storm, it is hard to see new ideas or to appreciate the good going on inside the globe.
Tonight I stepped out for a couple of hours to grab dinner with a colleague who teaches fourth grade in another elementary school in my district. I don't know why we don't make it a point to get out together more often. I feel more positive and energized every time we spend time together. Don't get me wrong, I do hear that "you don't measure up, Brigham" voice as I listen to her creative approaches and innovative ideas for inspiring student learning. However, I do my best to shut down that voice and focus on her positive energy. It is absolutely life-giving to hear a fresh perspective and a new take on the day to day teaching and learning that unfolds in the fourth-grade classroom. Now, this is not to say that this teacher is all rainbows and unicorns. She isn't. She is real. When we get together we definitely laugh at just how ridiculous our day to day jobs can be. We giggle over the unbelievable things our "clients" do and say. We commiserate over the struggles and troubleshoot where we can.
Mostly, it is just good to know that someone else, who is a lot like me, is plodding along, doing her best in flurry of ten-year-old insanity. It is good to share energy. It is GREAT to know I'm not alone. Teachers should socialize, commiserate, and collaborate more. I know we'd all be happier if we did. I'm pretty sure our students would benefit too. We should all step out of our own snow globes with greater frequency. While the classroom across town isn't much different than the one in my snow globe, it sure helps to hear about teaching and learning outside my globe.