Yesterday, I was trudging down the hall, hauling a giant stack of notebooks for a couple of 1st grade classrooms. The notebooks were heavy. The stack was tall and awkward to carry.
"Do you need help?" a passing student asked.
I had a moment of doubt and was considering offloading the top half of the stack. Suddenly, "No, thanks," popped out of my mouth automatically. Unsure that I was going to make the trek without losing the top few notebooks, I continued on, grateful for the creation of my fingers.
The rest of the hundred yard journey was spent deep in thought about the marvel that is the human anatomy, especially the grooves and valleys at the ends of my fingers, gripping the cardboard back of that bottom notebook. I was in wonder at the almost spidey like grip I could have on these notebooks, yet feel they could slip at any instant.
By this miracle, I made it safely to my destination, delivering the potential for lifelong writing to begin. We are working on a mini unit about living a writerly life. Our 1st graders will be headed into the Christmas break armed with a new notebook and good habits to practice there. I can't wait to see what it becomes.
After delivering my goods and reflecting on my time spent in wonder of my fingerprints. I started thinking about leaving my fingerprints and how teachers do imprint something on students. Is what we leave messy like the greasy goo after shoveling down a large fry? Do we instill strong character with healthy habits, clean lines and clarity? What fingerprints are we leaving with kids? Is my effect an oily smear or a crisp stamp?