Problems as Opportunities: Part 2

Since my first post, Problems as Opportunities, I’ve been thinking I could just write about this full time-How to turn problems into something greater…

Tuesday morning following the weekend plus a snow day…

Kelly, our school secretary stood in my doorway, right after I got all of my bags and weekend stuff from the hallway into my office. I knew why she was there. We had a lab site schedule with our first grade team. We were going to launch Phonics Workshop, better late than never! There wasn’t enough coverage to pull all of the teachers together.

“No!” I said. “Is anyone available? We can get creative?”

“Nope,” she said firmly.

Blah. I was planned and ready. The teachers were ready for this. I wanted to capitalize on this moment. They were practically begging for a way to revamp their word study time. But what could we do?

I left my bags at my feet and started down the hall to spread the news, our lab site was going to be cancelled.

My first stop, Emmy’s room, where the lab was supposed to happen. When I gave Emmy the news, I watched her mood sink. She was disappointed. “What if we pulled all of the kids into the library?” I said, surprising myself with this solution. Emmy perked back up. Before she could say anything else, I was out the door checking to see if the library was available. Five minutes later, I had spread the word to all of the first grade teachers. We would meet in the library, all of us-kids and all, at 8:30…in 20 minutes.

Every teacher responded with an “OK! We can do this!”

At 8:30, all of the students were settled next to their reading partners with a wipe off board and marker between them.

I began the lesson by sharing how we had come to be there, together in the library, that morning.

“It’s kind of good,” one student replied. “It wouldn’t have been fair if just Ms. Cookson’s class got to have the lesson.”

How right he was. Sometimes our problems can turn out to be amazing opportunities that we hadn’t yet dreamed of.





11 thoughts on “Problems as Opportunities: Part 2

  1. You really fed off the energy of those first grade teachers – their readiness had you excited and Emmy’s disappointed fed your fire to keep going! We need to recognize what our colleagues are ready for and grow from there! You are a master at this! AND problems as opportunities leads to creativity!! Thanks for capturing this moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay Jess! I love the picture and how squished together the kids are and how learning must go forward because the time is now. There is no time to waste. Problems as opportunities is a great topic. I also think it is workshop teaching in a nutshell. Go phonics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The time is now. I wish you could have seen it. Then the teachers went back and made their word park unifix cubes during lunch and redid rug time. It was hard but good. We are so grateful for these units. You and your team created something beautiful and amazing! ❤️


  3. What a great solution, and how cool is it that one of the students made that comment about fairness. Having the students present made your lesson better, I’m sure. Keep positive. That’s the key. My friend, Lynne, wrote about positivity today. You both have inspired me.

    Liked by 1 person

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