Chaos and Silence

Sometimes when I have twelve students all jabbering to me at once and I hear eight more talking loudly to their friends and the school loudspeaker goes off all at once, it’s difficult for me to enjoy the chaos that surrounds me.

But something that I’ve been thinking about today is that without noise, there is no way we could appreciate stillness.

Today, my students got into a spirited debated over the law that put caps on the amount of calories that schools could put in their lunches (for 7th grade, school lunches cannot have more than 600-700 calories, including the milk). My teacher smile got real wide as I heard my students using their reasoning and critical thinking skills to politely (but passionately) argue their points. Today, I was able to appreciate the chaos because it meant that I had the pleasure of enjoying one of those moments when I know true learning has occurred.

But as I sit now during my prep hour in the complete silence of my classroom, my stomach full from just having eaten lunch, my mind gearing up to grade the latest batch of tests, I am grateful for both chaos AND calm, for I know that I appreciate the one so much more because I am intimately familiar with the other.

What moments of chaos and silence do you most enjoy?

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