4:57 AM | morning glory
The alarm clock rings and my feet hit the floor before my eyes open, scrambling to turn off the alarm before waking a housemate. After pole vaulting out of bed, the day begins with breakfast, coffee, and greeting housemates who make the arduous journey from bed before 6 a.m. The sun starts to think about peeking over the horizon while I juggle coffee, a lunchbox, and an oversized teacher bag into the car. This is where our day begins.
6:30 AM | arriving
Nearing the end of our half hour drive to school, the sun rises over the water and into our eyes as we ride along Beach Boulevard in Pascagoula, MS. Usually reserved for mornings that need a little more time for prayer, thought, or talking to my mom or sister, I decided to take you the long way around today. God smiles in hues of red, orange, and pink as we arrive at Resurrection Catholic Elementary School around 6:40 a.m.
7:41 AM | forgotten books
Although they know they are supposed to stay in the hallway until I let them in at 7:45, a few students trickle in to chat, using their apparent need for a book in their cubby as an excuse to tell you and I about their lives. Sam, Addie, and Paityn all somehow make sure to forget their books most days. Soon it’s time to begin the school day, and we greet the second graders at the door. Here we go.
9:30 AM | reading rotations and chickens
You’re surrounded by students working away at their independent choices during our reading rotations. Some spend their time lost in books, others working with words, some reading to a partner, and others meeting at the teacher’s table. As you wander around the room you catch glimpses of their vibrant, budding personalities. Our rotations end, and books are slammed shut and stuffed away as I wonder to myself if I could make an art installation with the random things students stow away in their desks.
After having “What page are we on again??” and “Ms. Peek, can I read this time?” on replay throughout our read aloud, our class is more than ready for snack. While walking out the door, Evan calls out for my attention to ask if we can give our chickens a snack too. After deciding that our flock of 8 hens and 1 rooster might be hungry, we grab the mealworms and head out. As we feed the chickens their snack, it’s hard to tell if the chickens or the kids are more excited.
10:52 AM | late again
“MS. PEEK IT’S TIME TO GO TO P.E.” I look down at the clock only to realize that we are so engrossed in our math lesson that we are running late to activity… again. With only 4 minutes until P.E. starts, my students put away their math sheets, grab their lunchboxes, and line up faster than the chickens dashed for their snacks. Although, some days my students operate at the speed of the chicken’s snack instead.
1:14 PM | freedom of recess
George Timothy and Lola are counting down the minutes until our science lesson ends so they can resume their re-enactment of Star Wars on the playground from yesterday. Jack Christian joins in the countdown, and I’m thankful that at least they are reinforcing their skill of telling time. As we line up and open the door, students quickly transition from a (mostly) ordered line to mass chaos as they embrace the freedom of recess. Cheer practice, Star Wars games, bug-hunting, a soccer game, and a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” on the merry-go-round all fill the playground.
1:50 PM | religion class
Sweat drips off of little faces tired from the Mississippi heat at recess as we try to settle for our Religion lesson. As you walk around the classroom, you see that these 2nd graders are social beings, taking time to discuss the inner workings of their lives before transitioning back to learning-mode. After a minute or two, the class responds to my call for their attention. “Class, Class”. “Yes, Yes”. Finally the children are settled and it’s time to pray. Since we’ve been preparing for First Reconciliation, we take time to examine our conscience. You examine alongside us and then we all pray our Act of Contrition together.
2:35 PM | dismissal
Congrats, you’ve survived your first day here at RCS. It truly is the place to be, and I hope you enjoyed your visit. Now it’s time to cheer along to our end of the day chant. Soar Eagles!
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