"Transition coming up! Quickly, quietly, put away your chromebooks and math journals, and put your snack on your desk. I'll send you out to recess when you look ready."
10:00 a.m. It's a transition alright. Transitions all around. Eight and nine year olds get to transition from this middle aged dude telling them all the time to "Actively listen!" "Focus!" "Tell me that in a complete sentence". They transition to freedom to run! shout! throw! tag! And middle aged dude gets to transition from a state of constant of awareness, to just being able to sit, and breathe. Deeply.
"Hey, did you have a few minutes to chat?"
It's the administrator from the private school in Tacoma. She's been one of three visitors to stop by this morning during the math lesson. They are all part of The Visiting Team, representing our school's consortium. Its the last step of our school's self-study - the process whereby a private school renews it's accreditation. It's a long process, and we're all glad it's finally over, but there's still this last step. We're smiling hosts, under a microscope for a few days. The visitors are all pleasant, friendly, and very professional, and I am happy to do my part and be interviewed. But it's 10:00 a.m. Transition time. Snack time. Empty my brain time.
"I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit of what inquiry looks like in your classroom?"
"How exactly do you differentiate as you move through a unit of Everyday Math?"
"What is an example of a PBL unit with which you have engaged your class?"
Somewhere in my brain I have the answers to all of these questions. Good answers. Thoughtful answers. True answers. Unfortunately that's in my 8:00 a.m brain. The just-finished-my-coffee, let's greet the day brain! Not the 10:00 a.m, already beat, hungry, can't wait for Spring Break brain. This brain is already toast. It's transitioned.
My mouth opens. Words come out. They are almost good, and they are mostly true. They're the best words I've got at the moment. Maybe they can catch me again later, after another transition.