Spirit Week

Beauty in the day: you may possibly recall that last night I recounted a happy “Teacher PD” session on FB. A portion of that brilliance centered around teachers suggesting – nay, PROMISING to send students to me with chairs (it’s important to note, that I work with a group of people with a high level of integrity. A promise made, I discovered, WILL be kept).
Now, this week has been Spirit Week at Ardmore. For the “uneducated” on this point, let me explain that Spirit Week is a wonderful, fun, exciting sequence of events that will bring joy to your heart, and drain the energy from your body and mind. Today, Friday, was the proverbial “cherry on top” – you guessed it – Character Day. This is when you get to come in costume, depicting a favorite character. Think Halloween, only in February, and without all the candy (whew!). Suffice it to say, there were a great many distractions all week, and today was the pinnacle. I was working feverishly away – there was much to do on the Friday before Mid-Winter Break.
It was time for Kindergarten Music, and as the teacher (a promise-keeper) led her cuties to the Music Room (which is perpendicular to the office), she made a sudden detour, directing her learners to my desk, each of them carrying a picture of a chair, colored in and labeled with lovely messages. They were delightful, and a few could not contain themselves to follow the (assumed) direction of silence (based on much whispering), but instead burst out in salutations and “I loves you’s”. 🙂
Yet, the day was not over.
I think I have also mentioned before that I work in a “fishbowl” of an office, surrounded by windows. I looked up from an email to discover a small student in front of me, a student chair at her side. “My Teacher told me to bring you this chair,” she said soberly. I thanked her sincerely, and showed her where she should deposit it. Smiling to myself, I went back to my work. But Lo, approximately 6 minutes later, I viewed a little boy coming down the hallway, a chair in tow. Again came the sober pronouncement. This happened two more times, and I halted child number four to wait while I wrote a note to the teacher. “Dear Teacher, Thank you for sending down the chairs! It’s wonderful! Unfortunately, I don’t have a table to put them around.”
It may have only taken 2.5 minutes to look up and see two first-graders lugging a student desk to the Office.
Spirit Week isn’t only for kids.
Oh – and there was a giant Scaredy Squirrel.

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Moonlighting

Beauty in the day: Snow Moon, penumbral lunar eclipse, and the New Year’s comet. For some, these things are celestial delights; for some, they are warning signs of possible difficulties. For educators, these things are the events that give allowance for “ah-ha” and “make it work” moments. It’s funny how a tough day can really get stacked up until you discover that there is a full moon. Then it’s, “okay, cool; I’ve got this”, and sleeves are rolled up with a sense of purpose. Full moons bring out all the color and character of the night sky, and it seems to do the same for schools.
It’s a grace-giver.
Who wouldn’t want that?
#bringonthesnowmoon

Glory Days

Beauty in the day: his teacher brought him in to the office. He’d been there before, more than once (more than twice) under less-than-optimal circumstances.
“Ms. Nordstrom, if you have a minute, My Friend has something to show you.” I did have a minute, and I could see the news was good. I took a minute to tease him a bit, telling him not to smile while he told me his news. Naturally, this was a terribly difficult command, but he did try. He was unsuccessful, both at not smiling, and at getting the news out, since it’s hard not to smile when you feel very happy, and it’s hard to get the news out when your teacher is so proud she beats you to it. “My Friend has had a very good day!” She started to show me his chart, all filled up with goodness, and Her Friend was turning every shade of happiness, as his teacher used descriptions like, “he CRUSHED his math!” Letting inspiration take hold (and having whooped and hollered and high-fived, and used other exclamations like, “NO WAY!!!), I got out my phone to take pictures of his proofs to send to the principal, who was out of the office for the day. “OmiGOSH! I can’t wait for him to see this stuff, dude!” I told him. “I’m going to text it to him right away!”
They left the office then, and I sent the pictures. I know my principal, and tomorrow Her Friend is going to get another shower of glory.
THIS is school. And I can tell you’re all jealous.

Coco-In-Charge

Beauty in the day: making plans for Spring Break to be the “Coco-In-Charge” while the Littles’ mom and dad go away. Besides the fact that it’s always sweet to be with the grandkids, mine have been racking up points lately. My daughter’s birthday is just a few days after mine, and Jaffrey said, “Oh Mommy! It’s your birthday? Are you going to invite Coco to come?” 🙂 This was in addition to her exclamation upon seeing the colorfully wrapped gifts I had sent: “Oh, Mama! Coco LOVES you!” Everett was caught a few days later talking on his mommy’s phone to a poor, unsuspecting man. Not realizing it was “live” and not “memorex”, Bree asked who he was talking to when she found him, cuddled on the couch with his blanket and her phone. He sighed a long contented sigh and replied, “Oh, I’m just talking to my Coco.”
It will be a good visit.

Just Keep Swimming

Beauty in the day: my office is like a fishbowl; surrounded by a wall of windows. Today at dismissal, I stood at my desk and waved to all the kids as they were walked to the front of the school. Yeah, they liked that, and their little faces broke out in smiles as I received hundreds of waves in return.
Good way to end the school day.

Love is All You Need

Beauty in the day: being reminded that everyone has a viewpoint – everyone has a perspective. Today I see many pictures of planes flying into towers; when I see this, I am only saddened by the insidiousness of such an act. I am reminded of the hurt and pain that so many people felt at their incomprehensible loss – nearly 1,200 of them muslims, who were innocent. I am saddened further to think that those people are now reliving the rejection brought on by fear, as they listen to Americans once again treat them as infidels. It should not be. It should never be.
If you are feeling fearful, there is only one thing that can rid you of it:
LOVE.