I am still drowning in papers to grade, but I wanted to write a quick post before the week got too far away from me. I had my first-ever bomb threat this past week, and it rattled us all. I grabbed my iPhone, my MacBook Pro, and my math pencil and escorted my class out of the building.
I had to make my way home with no keys, no purse, and no money. Just carrying my iPhone and my laptop and my trusty math pencil.
As I battled public transit to make my way home (with no money – just explaining where I'd been and what had happened), it occurred to me that everybody was going to be nuts the next day. So I started writing some new Talking Points for us to do about the events of the previous day.
One of the things that becomes clear with training and time is that as a teacher, my job is to provide an emotional "container" for the experiences we have in my classroom. I decided to use Talking Points as a way of enabling students to process their experience within the structure we've been building for several weeks now.
My students' responses and respect for the structure blew my mind. And they made it possible for us to lose only one day rather than several. And by Thursday, our classroom community had returned to a steady enough state to move ahead.