Balance. A seven-letter word that, although easy to write, difficult to attain. Present everywhere from balancing a healthy life style, to balancing time, to balancing a budget. Even our own planet works continuously to maintain a critical balance to keep us alive. Balance. Without it, we can easily get lost in an unsatisfying, unproductive path. As a teacher, I am constantly struggling with balance. Our daily schedules, our weekly events, our monthly assemblies, our yearly curriculum…all coming together to what may seem like a balanced school year, yet when you look closely, you notice…there is very little balance. A small fraction of the day dedicated to outdoor play and another small fraction of the day dedicated to nourish our bodies. The rest of the day is go, go, go. The result? Tired, frustrated, unproductive humans (both adults and children alike), because being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you are being productive. This week something in my classroom changed our usual rhythm: Student-Led Conferences. My students have been creating presentations to showcase work they are proud of and setting goals for the upcoming trimester, while I gave immediate feedback and help. With jazz playing in the background, the classroom had a very distinct feel. It felt calm and productive. I dare say, it felt balanced. I realized how powerful it is to simply slow down. How powerful it is to find ample time to reflect on ourselves and set goals for our immediate future. How a change in our usual routine can help us find the balance we seek and the power to feel good about ourselves. I need to find more moments like these for my students, and for myself. Balance. Necessary to feel content and critical for our existence.