Slice of Life: Five Things I SHOULD Have Said at Work Today


It’s Tuesday and time for Slice of Life. What a gift it is to be able to write and link up with thoughtful bloggers at Two Writing Teachers! Thank you Dana, Tara, Betsy, Stacy, Anna and Beth  for this and all you offer on your blog. Read more slices and share your own here.

Yesterday I started to shift instruction: edging toward a heavier dose of informational reading and writing. Every year this is uncomfortable. Not because I don’t like the work. It’s just moving the ship in a new destination without tossing out all we have done is tricky and makes me a bit uneasy. With a color coded plan in hand, and belief that we can hold tight to what we have done, I enter a grey Monday.

I walked by two colleagues who were immersed in conversation. I didn’t really notice them. I was alone in my thoughts. I didn’t notice until I was in the copy room, punching cards, and I tuned in to the conversation. It was about a book he was writing. The fact that I wasn’t included hurt a bit. The little grey cloud that was hovering over me got a little bigger.

Morning minutes ticked by. The air felt stagnant. Everything that met me seemed a little off.

Students walked by. Not quite the same smiles. Distant?

The day hadn’t even started, and I had a feeling that the direction I was going in wasn’t good.

The day happened. Sort of kind of what I had planned, but not quite right. After a union meeting and a parent conference, I sat in my classroom mulling it over. I try to think in a linear way. But I’m more of a circular thinker, which can make me crazy. You know a what if, then, and what about that thinker. The possibilities are endless.

To blame someone or something for my funk would be easy, if only it worked. My circular logic keeps running through this not quite right, now that I think about it, actually really awful day. I’m irritated with the why and what next feelings,

Home I go. Think. Read. Write. Troll around the internet. I read a few posts, and fell into Kelly Wickham’s post on Five Things I Said At Work Today. Fun stuff. Could be a slice some day.

But today’s slice is five things I should have said (done) at work today.

I should have said, how can I help?

I should have said, here’s this book, I think you’ll love it.

I should have said, read this post, it made me think of you.

I should have smiled, a lot more and a lot bigger than I did.

I should have said something. Caught up in my own world, not wanting to complicate what I was trying to figure out, I realize I didn’t talk to colleagues today. I sort of holed up inside. Ironically, that inward motion magnified the dissonance. Rather than breaking out and letting a little light in, I kept the door closed.

Today made me realize how much I power I have in creating my life.  It made me think of most days when it seems like the whole world just looks me straight in the eye, smiles and offers up possibilities. Today wasn’t one of those days. Lesson learned, at least for now. Tomorrow, I promise I will be looking out not in. And it will be much better.

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Five Things I SHOULD Have Said at Work Today

  1. This captures our isolation so well and, I think, for the most part, it is because we are often physically isolated. I’m in the last portable, farthest outreaches of the building. No one comes to see me. I have to see them. Sometimes it makes for a brooding, inward day. I get this. You capture it well; this feeling is especially prevalent this time of year…as we edge toward bigger things in our classroom and work a lot!

  2. I think we all have days like this every now and again. The workload sometimes is so great that you have to choose between being social at work or taking work home and missing out on social time with family. It’s hard for those of us who want to be social all the time and I think that is most teachers. You will have an awesome day tomorrow. Its a new day, get amongst it!! Great honest post. 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing this.I know I have to work on smiling, I walk down the hall thinking about all I have to do and I look angry. Not very inviting. I get really wrapped up in my own head at work sometimes too. Your post is a good remainder to look up and out and connect with my colleagues, kids and visitors to the building.

  4. I saw that yesterday, and it made me sad. You are right, when you are in that funk
    it is like there is a little buffer zone keeping you away from the rest of the folks in the room. Maybe that is a good thing on some days, a safety zone. Maybe that was what you needed more than being part of the crowd. Your space is saved. Always. 🙂

  5. I understand that kind of day, and feel stuck in my office sometimes. It’s an old cliche, but I remember a grandparent telling me to ‘take the bull by the horns’, i.e., do something yourself without waiting for others. It sounds as if you’re already taking that step. Have a wonderful day, Julieanne!

  6. Everyone has days like this but not everyone reflects the way you do, finding a way out from the grey, taking a lesson for a future. The beautiful words unsaid on this day are not lost and can be used over and over again when needed.

  7. I love the reflection you offer here! Remember that we are all entitled to be a little grumpy sometimes. Remember to be kind to yourself and save one of those smiles for yourself. As always, I wish I was working down the hall from you…so I could say this in person.

  8. “I will be looking out not in.” It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own heads, and I do the same kind of circular thinking you describe. But it’s SO counterproductive. I love that turned your thinking around. Hope Tuesday was a better day, and thanks for the reminder to smile!

  9. The words that leapt out in this post for me were, “Lesson learned,” and yet I often have to relearn the same lessons over and over. Thanks for this honest reflection of a tough day – something we all experience.

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