My guiding light the past few days has been the phrase, “Chaos is a good thing.” I have been fighting it hard in my classroom lately, trying to eradicate the chaos instead of embracing it. I embraced it this weekend and shifted my mindset to be okay with it. As soon as I did that, I found that I was seeking my own solutions instead of quick fixes. And the past two days have been much better. There is still plenty of chaos but it isn’t negative chaos. I am greeting it with open arms and then trying to work with it. A far more effective method than greeting it with every tactic and trick in the book trying desperately to keep it away.
I had a beautiful 20 minutes at the end of the day playing with legos with a little friend. With our hands busy making, he talked easily about himself. He loves horses. He gets to help his dad each weekend at a friend’s barn where they have about 40 horses. They will have more coming from Wyoming soon. Together, they clean the horses’ hooves so they don’t get an infection. He sometimes gets to ride one. But you can only ride the ones who have been broken. Those are my words, not his. He struggled to find the words in English for what he did that makes him so happy as I filled in the gaps for him. As I struggled to fit those darn tiny pieces together, pretending to create something intentional, all I was really doing was listening to him talk, just him. For twenty minutes. What a gift.
Again and again, I am grateful for these moments when I can truly connect with my students. They are just so, so hard to find, those moments. But maybe embracing the chaos will allow me a few more minutes to meet my kiddos on their turf. I really miss their turf. Their wonderfully and sometimes maddening chaotic turf.