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You'll Remember This for the Rest of Your Life

This past year, my son’s baseball team made it to the World Series. As you might imagine, we were a proud and excited family very much looking forward to the event. As we shared our news with friends and family, everyone gave my son their own individual pearls of baseball wisdom: stay focused, swing early and hard, don’t let any ball go by you and hustle. Yet, without fail, every single person also shared the same sentiment of savoring the moment and my son consistently heard this phrase over and over again from anyone he told about his upcoming event: You will remember this for the rest of your life.
This was such a monumental occasion and I was also convinced that he would remember it for the rest of his life, but hearing those words said to him over and over again made me pause to consider why. Was it was because it was such a major event? Was it because he had yet to experience anything like it? Was it because it was considered a prestigious opportunities that few children get to experience? As I listened to the well-wishers, I couldn’t help but think of all of the other moments in his baseball life that were worth remembering too: the hundreds of hours of practice batting and fielding, the many wins and losses that brought his team to this moment, the many coaching lessons to perfect his skill and the trials and tribulations that brought these boys together as a team. Weren’t those worth remembering too? Weren’t they just as important? I realized that, all too often, we tend to remember the big, culminating events of our lives, but the smaller everyday moment that have brought us where we are often go unremembered. But they shouldn’t.
As I sat in the stands watching my son play in the World Series, I couldn’t help but remember all of the smaller moments that brought him to this event: the hours together in the front yard playing catch, the conversations in the car as we traveled to yet another tournament and the shenanigans in the hotel pool as we enjoyed some down time together as a family. These are the events that are near and dear to my heart and fill my heart with just as much joy as watching him play at the biggest event of his life did.
This same thinking can be applied to our work in the classroom. We might tend to savor the moments when reading and writing feels big and magical; those large moments of accomplishment when our work as readers and writers paid off.  But we must remember that it was a series of smaller, culminating events that brought our readers and writers to that very point: the hours spent reading and writing, the skilled instruction in small groups, the shared discussions and problem-solving and yes, all of the approximations along the way. We must cherish those everyday, often overlooked moments as it is in those moments that true readers and writers are born, building habits, routines and dispositions that remain long after a momentous occasion. Take the time to celebrate the small routines, habits and accomplishments in your students’ lives and make learning in your classroom an enjoyable journey that is just as worth remembering as their graduation from it. While my son’s team did not win the World Series, I’m proud to say that he walked away knowing he earned his place there because of his hard work leading up to it, a lesson he will remember for the rest of his life.

Comments

  1. This was such a great post; the perfect connection between your life outside and inside the classroom. I often feel like I gloss over the small victories that get us to the big ones, but your post is a good reminder to remember all of it, because it is all important.

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    1. Thank you for your reply, Andrea! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. I am also guilty of letting the little accomplishments slip by while I anticipate something bigger later on, but am working on it and slowly getting better! =)

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  2. Welcome to slicing! You hit a homerun with your first slice! :-) Love the connection you made to teaching - all those small steps that lead to our final accomplishment. For years, I've wrestled with how to share the process - the work, the development, the many steps - rather than simply the final product. It is so important that we remind our students of all those essential yet small parts. Thank you for this!

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    1. Thank you, Maureen! I am so glad you enjoyed my piece....and I love the homerun analogy! =) I think we wrestle with the process because the process is messy and it can be hard to celebrate messy. But 'half the fun is getting there' and if students do not see the messy along the way, and celebrate the small steps, then perhaps they will not even aim for later accomplishments. Thank you for reading my post!

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  3. Welcome to Slice of Life! I recently joined this community of writers too and have really enjoyed it. It has helped me to continue to work on my own writing and connected me with so many like-minded peers. I love your reminder that "we must remember that it was a series of smaller, culminating events that brought our readers and writers to that very point". This is so very true and speaks to the fact that all the hard work we put in can pay off. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Alida! I am glad you enjoyed my writing and the reminder to remember the little things. I look forward to next week!

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  4. Stephanie! I was surprised to learn that you are not yet apart of this warm community of writers! So happy to have you join in. I agree, this was the perfect first slice. Love the connections you made between your son's experiences and the classroom ... and it really is about all the little steps -- and celebrations -- along the way! Thanks for sharing and welcome!
    ~Michelle

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  5. Thank you, Michelle! I have been a content reader of posts and finally decided to jump in. I am glad I did and I look forward to next week! =)

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