The school site is a hive abuzz.
We have reached the apex of our year together.
Students sit, heads bowed low over texts and computers. Pencils scritch-scritch-scritch with thoughts and responses, working to show all they know on high-stakes standardised tests.
Teachers have laid it all on the line. Anxious. Hopeful. Pressure. Stress.
We know what this time of year means for the school we love so much. For the students we have built into year-end kindergarteners, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth graders. We want them to shine as brightly as we see them.
Parents too are feeling the build. Expectations pile up. We meet them, mostly. When we miss it pains all involved. We reach to exceed. We reach to excel.
Students feel it too. They misstep. They struggle to comply. They know the day by heart and yet. G. runs away from class up the steps and tries to hide. Sometimes we all want to do that. And when you’re not yet six you actually can. We understand. We worry.
This is the time of year for deep conversations. Doors are closed for the sharing of private concerns. Individual needs and fears. Disquiet.
Sometimes the pressure threatens to cook us. We sweat. Our hearts pump harder and louder.
But we take deep breaths. We smile at each other. We trust.
Someone says, “You’ve got this.” We believe in each other and strengthen our communion.
We remind each other of the real reasons we come to this sacred place each day to do the best work, the most important work. The work we are each called to do.
We work to build people. These people are so new to our planet. Just five, six, seven… the eldest is eleven.
We know what matters. It is each child who walks in every day through that gate in the front of the Sweetest Little School by the Sea.