Kin Tree

Beauty in the day: Professional Development day away from the school today. Excellent speaker, and I really liked this: he talked about kids being asked to complete a family tree, and how some kids either don’t have access to this information, don’t know it, or have mixed emotions about the process of owning and naming family members that are connected to pain in their lives. He suggested a “Kin Tree” explaining that perhaps branches of the tree might instead connect to their church, to their school, to their extra-curricular group (i.e., sports team, dance class, etc), denoting the people there (or maybe one important person) as “kin”. These are a form of extended “family”, or influencers in their lives.
My family tree just got a whole lot bigger. 💗

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Accidental Hero

Beauty in the day: we have a system called Telecom, and mine was down. It normally displays the date and the time, but mine was reverting back to January of 1997. Nothing I did would fix it, so I put in a work order. The electricians came out, but they were stumped. We tried several things, but were getting nowhere, and I felt bad for taking up their time – although I still wanted it fixed! One electrician ended up getting on a stool and trying to work with tiny manual buttons in the back of the display (which is high up in the wall). He tried this, and he tried that, getting nowhere.
He made comments about how unnecessary the little display actually was, and suggested offhandedly that turning it off altogether might be the best choice.
I threw out some encouragement, saying that he was going to be so happy with himself if he could figure out the fix. We both laughed and he continued to fuss with the thing. Suddenly the display lit up with the right information, and though he had no idea what he had done right, he lifted up his arms in a muscle-man pose, clearly very pleased with himself.
“See? I told you so,” I told him laughingly.
He left in a very good mood.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Beauty in the day: my counselor/psychologist/bff was in classrooms having the “safe touch” talk. She started out in the 1st grade class, and by necessity (by design, really), used a few anatomical terms for body parts. One tyke thought to “challenge” her choice of vocabulary, so my friend challenged her right back. “All of our body parts have names,” she explained. She pointed to her nose, and the group was able to properly identify it. She pointed to her knee – again, they were on-target. She pointed to her foot, and the little challenger, who was beginning to enjoy this game, shouted out, “Shoe!” My ever-patient friend, rather than correcting her, agreed with her answer, and then decided to give her another opportunity. She removed her shoe, and pointed again. The little one was now at genius levels, and exclaimed, “Sock!”

It’s Complimentary

Beauty in the day: we have rehearsals for the kid’s Christmas Program on Sunday afternoons. After practice, the director likes to engage us in “highlights”, which consists of people sharing compliments about one another’s work for that day. Naturally, it’s everyone’s favorite part. Today, one young boy was picked up early by his dad, because of a previous engagement. We all continued with our rehearsal until it was time to be done. At “highlights” time, the director shared that the boy had pulled her aside to share his compliment about another boy before he left. And it made that other boy’s day.
I love that giving a compliment was such a joyful priority. He didn’t even get to stick around to hear if anyone complimented him. 💗

For the Love of Cupcakes

Beauty in the day: she came breathlessly in to the office (she talks a lot, hence the lack of sufficient breath), needing my attention RIGHT AWAY.
“Ms. Nordstrom, can you please do me a really, really, super important very big favor? I mean, if you want to, or if you have the time, but it wouldn’t really take much of your time or anything, and I could ask someone else if you think it would be better. I could take it to class instead of you want,” (at this she brought forth a cupcake wrapped skillfully in cellophane), “but I think that might be a problem, and if you could keep it here for the band teacher, then I could come and get it from you this afternoon.”
I looked at her encouragingly, and was about to assure her that it would be no hardship at all, when she took a sudden sharp breath and looked up at me. “Well, unless you are worried that you might eat it?!?!!???”