Show Up

Saturday, October 17, 2020


     There I was, on a Saturday afternoon, listening to Lucy Calkins close out their first ever virtual Saturday Reunion.  Of course, I had forgotten all about it, so I only got to see 1 mini session and this closing message, but I tuned in all the same.  I was hoping she'd talk about an article I had just read about early literacy.  She did not.  Instead, she brought me to tears.

     She talked about the need to Show Up.  That, in this crazy time, we need to show up for each other.  She told the story of her adult children (2 of whom have my own children's name- extra tears for that) showing up as her husband passed away last spring.  I was listening to her speak as I was working on a forth grade planning doc, and the screen started to get a bit harder to read.  Tears were clouding my vision, as I could hear the strain in her voice.  Her heartbreak had now become a metaphor for all of us, as we struggle and grieve with what the pandemic has done to the world we knew.

      Her closing message had nothing to do with reading or writing or phonics.  It was a message about humanity.  She reminded us that we need to be as connected as we can be right now.  We just need to show up for each other.

      We don't need to be perfect.

      Our presence matters to others.

      Show up for your students.

      Show up for your colleagues.

      Show up for our country.

      Hold on to the faith that we matter.


      As I wiped a tear, the doorbell rang.  I was in the middle of working on 4th grade Quarter 2, and was crying, so I didn't want to get up.  My husband wasn't home, and I thought maybe he left his keys at home.  So, I sent him a message. 

     In he walks, holding a delivery.  Indeed, it was a pumpkin of flowers.  It was sent by one of our 4th grade teachers, who "just wanted to put a SMILE" on my face.  That smile came, of course, while I was working on 4th grade curriculum and crying over Lucy's words about showing up for others.

     Theresa Sievers, I have no idea how you managed to show up just when I needed you, but you sure did.  In fact, this past few weeks have been so very stressful for so many many reasons, and the stress was less because people that I work with kept showing up.  Kind emails.  Coffee and chocolate deliveries.  Thankful words.  Text messages.  Twitter tags.  Why?  Simply because I work with the best staff in the world, who SHOW UP for their colleagues.

     We are going through some pandemic level stress right now.  Instinct often leads us to show our stress by criticizing and pointing fingers.  It is happening all over social media.  The reality is, though, that in order to get through this, we need each other.  We need to show up.  Some days, we are showing up for others.  Some days, they show up for us.  Together, we will get through this.  In the meantime, I'll just stop and smell my pumpkin of flowers and be thankful for my D100 family.

      I challenge you to stop and take a moment and send a kind message or do a random act of kindness right now. This very second.  It could be a text message to a friend you haven't seen, or a kind comment on a coffee cup left on a doorstep.  It doesn't matter what it is.  It will matter to someone.  Show up with kindness when the world seems upside down.