I arrived in one of the classrooms where I co-teach (as an ESL teacher, I “push in” to seven different classrooms each week) this afternoon right when the students who had been in the room for reading were transitioning back to their home room. It was obvious it had not been a good day. The teacher was dealing with one behavior issue, and I stepped in to deal with another as unkind words flew between two students.
When the switch was complete and the students were in their seats, we began the lesson. The classroom teacher sat at the desk to regroup. The students got engaged in analyzing a student writing sample to find topic words and academic vocabulary (trying a lesson activity from a workshop by Dr. Kate Kinsella at my recent trip to NABE). Things quieted down in the classroom. At the end of my thirty minutes as I collected student papers, the other teacher slid a paper under the stack, letting me know it was something for me. I sneaked a peek to see a poem with the heading “You make a difference.” As the smile broke across my face, my fellow teacher whispered, “You saved my sanity today,” and calmly took over the class.
And there you have it, we were colleagues today.