Mississippi Moments

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Picture this: Stan Borenson singing away about "Valkin' in my vinter undervear" and 3rd and 4th graders up to their armpits in glue, flour, and cornstarch...and one parent-volunteer who thought she was coming in for reading groups and got an apron slapped on her and told to help one particular 4th grade boy who was still working toward the standard of "is this a solid or a liquid..or hey, did you see how far I can toss this clump of white sludge near the lights?...it was a glorious day. I didn't sit down once! Well, that's not true--at dance we have to stretch and set our weekly goals for the week so that was sort of like sitting except I was too busy and focused to pay attention to it.
Another thing that was fun about today..try this sometime-put a dab of glitter on your nose and see how many people tell you about it or try to cue you nonverbally. (It's kind of a 4 thing.)That was a riot today (I was feeling elfish not elvish) and it garnered alot of commentary. No one believed me when I said that I had done it intentionally. Oh well, still fun. Glue-flour-and cornstarch is a magnificent combo for making ornaments. Equal parts. No water. Flour your hands and knead like dough. Can be used with cookie cutters or just shaped into ornaments. We are learning the symbolism of the candy cane and also of the Most Dangerous Carol on Earth (Twelve Days of Christmas). It was the first time in a long time that I have seen and heard everyone having a playful, heart-warming time. It was also an observation smorgasbord on the developmental continuum and Darwinian theories of get to the supplies first and take the most for me...4th grade girls-gotta love 'em. They rule the world.
I won two rounds with one of my students and in my winning, he won. I am not going to accept crap from someone that I have trained for four years running in academic excellence--so I did the UNTHINKABLE--I held his Redwall library book hostage on my desk until the work was completed and brought up to standard. Did you know I am the meanest, mean, not nice, meanest, I don't like you, No, I won't teacher in the world? I figure this is good practice for what's coming up. I tell you, it is tough to keep the sweet and sincere in my voice when I just want to shake him and say,"You're ten! Get it?! You're not in charge and you have to go to school and like, learn something, like everyday!!" But I don't. Me and my Love and Logic angel just script our way to his success over and over and over...the little otter slipped by me with one assignment and so I am girding the proverbial loins and we will work on that choice tomorrow...gee! and I get paid for this! Rubrics-you gotta love 'em. They spell it out so clear and crisp. And none of them can tell me that they can't read becasue I taught them to read (with hard work from their parents of course and the other amazing teachers)
Dance was fun and focused tonight.That's because everyone was on a very tight leash with clearly explained achievable targets. They really respond to "break out groups" and the chance to work on the next advanced thing once they have demonstrated mastery. No stickers here, girls!
I hve enjoyed every night this week after work because as soon as I step in the door, I put on the kettle for a cup of Christmas tea. And tonight is Christmas cookie baking night. All the traditions that are special to me are still special to me. So I embrace and enjoy and LIVE! The gift of this Santa Lucia Day was the light in the smiles and the challenges that the blob work -I mean ornament creating-offered today. Let's all open our Hearts to the LIght around us to share, to awaken, to hold, to heal.......off to the kitchen to make some real cookies!


  • At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ha! As you were reading MY blog, I was reading YOURS!

    And now I'm listening to a song you would dig: The Christians and the Pagans, by Dar Williams. Lovely little ditty about Christmas. :)


    *flailing Grover arms*

  • At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    DISNEYLAND??? I wanna go to Disneyland. Maude


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