#SOL20: Beeps

Beep . . . Beep . . . Beep . . .


I could ignore!

Not my job to fix it!

Beep . . . Beep . . . Beep . . .

Am I supposed to report it?

How long for a response?

Maybe I should find some work to do!

Beep . . . Beep . . . Beep . . .

No headphones to cancel out the noise.

Back to my book. Maybe I can get lost in it.

A person is required. Not me!

Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 5.37.47 AM

Two writing challenges of 2020 are #100DaysofNotebooking and the 30-Day Writing Habit. As I began both, I envisioned colorful images cascading across notebook pages as I read prompts, checked out model pages and wrote.  In fact, I have written a lot. It’s not pretty. It’s not colorful. It’s not filled with images. But I have pages of words! Today, the 30-Day Writing Habit included this poem, “Advice” by Dan Gerber. (Link) The comparison of the “hurtful words” to the earthworms made me wonder about the similarities between hurtful words, worries in life and classroom responses.

Hurtful words:

  • Can be ignored
  • Can be addressed
  • Can appear to cause inaction
  • May invite reflection
  • Should not be allowed to paralyze
  • May take conscious effort to overcome

Life worries:

  • Here’s a problem.
  • Is it my problem?
  • Am I the one to be solving it/them?
  • I see multiple possible solutions.
  • Do I test them out?
  • Do I pass them along?
  • Do I interject and help?
  • Do I interject and become part of the problem?

Classroom responses:

The class is “unsettled” with students who haven’t quite regained their pre-holiday work groove. At different points during the day, it feels like the earthworms have come out after the rain. Waiting is no longer an option.

  • Who finds the solutions?
  • How do we decide a course of action?
  • How do we set individual goals?
  • What were the “warning beeps” that alerted us to a problem?
  • Is it a small, insistent alarm?
  • Is it a “Code Red” alarm?
  • What will it look like when we have solved the problem?
  • Will the solution create another “problem”?

The post began with the sound of electronic beeping. A small, obnoxious alarm. It got my attention. But was I the target audience? What alarms do you hear on a regular basis?

What are the warning “beeps” in my life that help me stay on course? 

What are the warning “beeps” in the classroom that let us know something is out of sync? 

What is our response?

How do we know that we are on track?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png


5 responses

  1. I think our response (and that question) is critical. What we do in the moment and how we revise in the moments after really make the difference. A bigger question might also be –are we listening … do we slow down enough and create space to even hear the “beeps.” Thanks for slowing me down today!

    1. Clare,
      So very spot on. Were we even “open and ready” to watch and listen for the “beeps”? And are the beeps then a symptom or an outcome?

      Our responses do matter. They can’t always be pre-planned and scripted. Life happens and we have to be responsive! ❤

  2. Yes, today I was called to several student alarms. I am grateful for the time to talk to those involved and always worry about the ones I might miss.

    1. So good to be aware! And yes, always worry about possible misses.

  3. As with many warnings, they can just seem to come out of nowhere when we least expect them. Many times an instant fix is needed before a long term solution can be found. Just another example that we need to be constantly attuned to those warning signals whenever and wherever they arise.

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