Navigating the classroom

20 Sep

There are 29 kids in each of my 6th grade classes this year.  It feels like a blessing because the were 38 and 39 in last year’s classes. It was a huge challenge to conference during writer’s workshop because we were packed in like sardines. compared to last year, conferencing is a breeze. Not only do I have space, but I have fewer students, so I can talk to each.

There was a time I would have considered 28 an abomination. I remember the first year I had 25. The I groaned, but I long for those days. I wrote this poem last year after I watched a skinny little girl squeeze between tables – a feat I could not perform.

38 kids

I watch

the petite 6th grader

dance

and

weave

between chairs,

lithely

navigating

obstacles in

our overcrowded classroom.

How must it look to her

as my half century bulk

rises and squeezes

through

the

maze?

Chairs are

pulled in

and I

suck

in

my

belly

hunching my shoulders

to keep my matronly bosom

out of an eye.

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4 Responses to “Navigating the classroom”

  1. jarhartz September 20, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    I am so happy for you and your 29 kiddos. Anything over 30 is a tremendous strain. It’s not just conferring, it’s the lack of space to be. I love your poem and can picture that lithe sixth grader weaving.

  2. arjeha September 20, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    Gee, I would complain when I had 25 students. That seemed like too many at a time specially when everyone needed help at the same time.

  3. Tara Smith September 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    Your poem resonated with me…also a sixth grade teacher with a (slightly ) smaller classes.

  4. elle1955 September 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    You create quite the image with words and shapes. I feel the squeeze.

Comments are closed.

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