Start of school…a rollercoaster

Rollercoaster…that was the metaphor another Slicer used last week to describe her new school year. As I read Erika’s words HERE, I thought how It fits for me too.

It is risky to even go on such a ride. And first you must meet the height requirements. It is risky this year to teach in-person. And there are the health requirements. Must be vaccinated. Must wear a mask. 800+ students, at an age when they aren’t the best at following rules, arrive in-person to learn. Crowded hallways. Outdoor lunch. Some vaccinated. Many not old enough yet. Click…click…click.. click. Up the hill, the coaster climbs, as I walk, white-knuckled, into my classroom each day.

Then I feel the rush. Whoosh…..down the hill….exhillaration. Along with teaching three classes of students, I am my school’s new literacy coach, supporting four groups of adults. Last week, I felt such a high from listening to the grade-level ELA teachers. I asked questions. I offered ideas. It’s been 8 years since I’ve been a coach and it was like riding a bike. It felt natural and freeing and rewarding to support adults. My insecure side worried. Would I have anything to offer? But my 20+ years of experience kick into gear. How about this authors? Another strategy you could try is ____ . I know stories. I know strategies. I easily shared and those at the meeting departed, feeling their load was lifted a bit because of my support. Whoosh!

6 thoughts on “Start of school…a rollercoaster

  1. Ms Victor Reads says:

    I love how you detailed the feeling!!! The whoosh is the goal (although eyes open or closed is sometimes a dilemma). Lucky teachers and kids to have you as a coach- you embody a teacher learner and best practice.


  2. Denise Krebs says:

    Sally, what a great description. I can relate more to the first half of the click, click, click,,,up and up into the unknown. You are so right about the children being “at an age when they aren’t the best at following rules.” What to do?

    My role is very limited this year. I’m just going in part time, screening students using DIBELS for the teachers, but I see enough to pray for all teachers this year.


  3. Jill Bless says:

    I love your metaphor also. I’m feeling the same way this year. Lots of ups and downs. Joy and successes amidst challenges and struggles.

    Congratulations on your new adventure as a literacy coach. It sounds like you jumped right back to where you were with it. Your teachers are lucky to have a veteran guiding them! Keep riding that feeling of success!


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