This morning I got to school early so I could take care of some tasks before my grade level team meeting. I entered my room, went over to my desk, and began to unpack. When I reached into my purse to get my phone out, I realized I left it at home. Eh... I thought, no biggie. I don't really use my phone at school anyway.
As the day wore on, I realized that I DO use my phone at school, more than I thought. I take pictures throughout the day to capture the ins and outs of my classroom. Some of these pix I tweet from my classroom Twitter account during my plan periods. Some of them will end up in my Friday newsletter. Some of them will just live on my computer for a while, bringing back great memories of my first year in third grade.
There were several times I reached for my phone to take pictures. But I most regretted leaving it at home when I took my kids out into the March sunshine for an extra recess before dismissal. We were the only class on the playground. Several girls were playing a strange tag game that involved a tennis ball and lots of screaming. A group of boys was playing "American Ninja Warrior" on the monkey bars. Another group of girls was hanging out on the swings. Other boys were climbing on the slides. It would have been great to capture these unguarded moments, these opportunities to just be kids on a playground.
On the other hand, since I didn't have my phone to filter my view of the kids, I saw things I don't get to see in the classroom. I saw which kids actually play together, which ones move off away from the group to have some quiet time, which ones actually play alone but alongside their peers.
I was also able to think back to my own days in third grade, to the games I played on the playground at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. I seem to remember playing a lot of kickball in the field behind the school. Dodgeball on the front blacktop. Jumprope. Tag. Many of the same things my students are playing more than 30 years later.
So yeah, I felt a little lost today, knowing my phone was sitting on the dining table where I left it after breakfast.
But I also felt a little found.