I got a fortune cookie once that said, Don't change horses in the middle of the stream. Next week I am doing just that.
For the last eight years I've been in a kindergarten classroom.
This year the administration changed, and my job description did too. I am no longer tethered to a classroom, but a free agent, a "floater." I float to the first grade for reading groups, the second grade for math groups. The floating became less predictable as the year went on. Ms. G. is out sick and I need to cover her room for the day. Mr. R. has meetings all day and I need to take over his classroom. I hear over the loudspeaker, Ms. H, report to the office. I am floating everywhere. Never landing long enough to feel grounded.
I sign in every morning at 8 am. I am handed a note. Mrs. H. you will be covering Ms. M's class for the morning, and Ms. R's class for the afternoon. I scramble to read the lesson plans for each class.
I carry my backpack with me up three flights of stairs to help out in the third grade, and carry it back down to the first floor to teach my reading group. I monitor breakfast and lunch every day. Tuesdays I am outdoors for recess. I am the wandering teacher, the floater, the one who carries her desk on her back.
Until the bell rings at 3:30.
At 3:30 I am the yoga teacher. I gather my students from the after school program, and we walk quietly to a vacant classroom. We leave the day behind us. Together, we shake off the stress of standardized testing, hurt feelings, playground scuffles. We breathe.
For 45 minutes, we practice yoga poses and breathing techniques. We play "Yogi Says," and "Freeze Yoga." Children's yoga does not look like adult yoga. There is silliness, and laughter, and often loud barking in "Downward Dog" pose. And at the end of class, they lie in their Savasana pose, and take turns breathing deeply with the small stuffed iguana on their stomachs. Iggy helps them see their breathing.
This is what I love to do.
Next week is my last week untethered and floating in all different directions.
The kid size mats came in the mail yesterday. The box was addressed to me with the name of my new yoga company.
My new space has been rented for the first summer session.
The yoga cards and games and eye pillows are ready.
I'm changing horses in the middle of the stream.
Namamste, and giddy-up.