Beauty in the day: he had so many curiosities and wonderings today. He was “very uncertain” about the Family Fun Nights that get switched out for things like Family Stem Design Night. Clearly there was an opportunity, at least in his mind, for a Night to end up as something less than Fun, even if your Family is there. He agreed that it COULD be fun, but since it isn’t CALLED Family FUN Night, then surely things could go awry. It would be nice, he mused if someone like me could give him some sort of reassurance on this. Naturally, I told him that I was reasonably certain that such odd-named nights such as Family Stem Design Night, and Multi-Cultural Night would be sure to be quite enjoyable evenings with lots of FUN. He left after the 4th inquiry of the day with a seeming grasp of the possibilities of pleasure that the upcoming mis-named nights would offer.
When he turned up for a 5th time, I steeled myself, partly because I wasn’t sure what else I could come up with to convince him, and partly because his approach to asking questions of me is to frame them in the manner of the DMV sloth in the upcoming Pixar film, Zootopia. I waited…… as…. he…….made his……..inquiry. “The thing I’m wondering……… is……. well……. I don’t quite know……… why is it…..actually…….that 1st graders haven’t yet gone…….on a field trip.” (It should also be noted that these questions are also often framed with the suggestion that the query is also coming from his mother).
Come on 1st grade teachers – get this kid on a field trip. Please.
Beauty in the day: Today I tricked a 3rd grade girl into reading her whole book. She was required to stay back from a field trip, and had a bit of an attitude. She didn’t want to do any work. I gave her a long, hard stare, and then proceeded to offer to bring her some drawing paper, so she could draw instead. She stared hard right back, then huffily took out a tiny chapter book she had started. “Oh – are you going to read instead?” (this was, of course, the suggestion in the first place.) Let’s see – you are on Chapter 3. What if we set a goal? Let’s see if you can finish Chapter 3, and get all the way through Chapter 5. Oh – wait – maybe that will be too much. Maybe we should set your goal to get through Chapter 4.” She stared…. She showed up at my desk to show me where she was at. Middle of Chapter 7. “Wait – what? You are in the middle of Chapter 7!” She looked a little flabbergasted – just for a second, then got her composure. “Well, I think we need to set a new goal. How about getting to the end of Chapter 9 (there are 11 chapters in this book)?” She looked at me dubiously, more concerned that she might be getting manipulated than anything else. “Actually, I don’t know,” I told her. “Often the latter Chapters start to get hard, so maybe you should just work on Chapter 9. I’m not sure if you can get all the way through Chapter 9 today.” She went to make sure I was wrong. She brought it back in the middle of Chapter 10. She was having a hard time hiding her pleasure, but she was doing it. “Well, there is only an hour left, and I was about to suggest that you just finish the book, but who would ever believe you anyway? You read a whole book while your class was on a field trip? Maybe just finish Chapter 10 and save that last Chapter for tomorrow.” I think she dropped a peacock feather or two on her way out at the end of the day. (She finished the book.)
Beauty in the day: the day was over. The kids had all gone home. At least, that’s what I thought. The PM Preschoolers had been walked out to their bus, and now that they were all safely in said bus, the teachers left. This left the young, cool Jamaican bus driver in a quandary, since a little girl in the front seat announced that she HAD to go potty. She was adamant about it, and he was very unsure what to do. He managed to get my attention, and I went out to him and learned of his situation. “I can take her into the school, and you stay here with your riders. No problem.” He was very grateful, but immediately became semi-horrified when, one-by-one, all the little tykes were claiming that they, too, HAD to go (“Bus Driver, Bus Driver!”). He started out by telling them that they could NO WAY go (“I know these kids, and they are just trying to have fun,” he revealed, his dreadlocks bobbing). Then you could see the doubt begin to creep in, as he looked to the left, and then to the right, and then back at me.
“We can just take a field trip. I don’t mind. I can take them all.” This was just too much for him. I couldn’t take them ALL. He suddenly became all business, and settled for a particular 4 children to go on this adventure. They came down the bus steps to me, and I got them to line up and follow me. The bus driver called after me, “That little guy will need some help with his pants. He can’t do it by himself.” I found myself semi-impressed: I guess he DOES know these kids! And by the way: he was right.
Beauty in the day: the kindies were on a field trip today. At the Aquarium. This meant that they were not in the lunchroom, because they were in Seattle. At the Aquarium. This meant no kindies for 1st lunch in the lunchroom. Just 1st grade. This meant that the kindergarten class who was the Clean-up Crew this week – was gone – in Seattle. This meant that a 1st grade class (the first grade has already had their turns) would have to fill in. Well, the best way to approach this was head-on. “So, first grade class that has already had their turn, I will need you to be Clean-up Crew today, because the kindies are on a field trip.” They cheered. It was the best news they’d heard all day.
Lunch was teriyaki, and the kids were having a lot of fun reading their fortunes from their fortune cookies. One girl yelled out in excitement, “My fortune came TRUE!!” I asked her what her fortune was, and she let me read it. It read, “An exciting message will soon be delivered to you.” She was super-happy. “Wow!” I joined in enthusiastically. “What was the message?”
“We get to be Clean-Up Crew!” she exclaimed, causing the class to erupt in a new bout of cheering. Yep. True story. Tag line courtesy of the 1st grade teacher: