D.E.A.R stands for "drop everything and read" and it's a pretty important part of our day. As you can see by the photos below, it's quiet, cozy and just an overall special time of day.
Each afternoon from about 2:35 to 2:55, we stop and read and it's really something. The kids come in from recess and, as we say, "head to their places", and then...silence, except for the quiet music. For years, it meant pressing play on the CD player, but now, that same CD comes courtesy of itunes. The album is called, "The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe" and it's magical in the way it brings everyone down from recess and into that quiet head-space where great reading happens.
I bought the original CD for my dog about 20 years ago, back when you bought music in a store. My hope was that it might keep my dog calm while I was at school. No such luck. They say teaching is the only job where you steal from home and bring it to work, so I brought the CD to school and DEAR time has never been the same. I couldn't tell you where that CD went, but the legacy of its music lives on.
I often tell the kids that come 2:55, I feel a little bad waking them from their reading and they totally get what I mean. They all look so focused and content, it's hard to disturb that. And these aren't staged photos. This wasn't me announcing, "places everyone!". This is really what it looks like everyday.
One look at these and I'm sure you can appreciate why I think everyone needs a little DEAR time in their lives.