Beauty in the day: so they were lined up by the door of the school waiting for dismissal. I like to go out into the foyer and say goodbye to the kids – this is when they sometimes tell me random stuff.
One little kindie girl held up a pice of paper folded like a card and colored bright colors. “Look at what my friend made for me!” She was exuberant. Friend was next to her, and hopped up and down silently, a grin spread all over her face.
The kindie girl continued her exaltation, showing me how her friend had drawn her a lovely picture, “and look!” She got even more excited, which made Friend hop up and down ever so much more jubilantly. “She colored the two sides my favorite colors!” And then, with a highly exaggerated wave of her hand, showed first the purple side, then the pink.
Now Friend stopped hopping, and leaned in toward her beneficiary, who smiled at her lovingly.
The ringing bell signaled the need for the bus, and off they went.
At least two little girls had a very good day today. Probably more. Things like that can be infectious.
Beauty in the day: so, our 5th graders are working to qualify for “Self Manager” status. Many already have, and I was working on special custom badges attached to lanyards for each of them.
One 5th grade boy was sent to the workroom by his teacher to sharpen a handful of pencils, which he did, quite handily. We chatted about the lanyards while he did his chore and I continued with mine as well. He was preparing to leave, and I suggested he wait, while I finished he last of the lanyards, so he could deliver them to his teacher.
I instantly saw that this presented him with a predicament. One the one hand, the beautiful lanyards (which included his OWN personalized edition, complete with picture) would surely please his teacher and fellow students, and would DEFINITELY please himself. On the other hand, he was sent on a pencil-sharpening mission, and his well-earned status of Self Manager was quite fresh, and he was loathe to taint it in any way.
He said nothing, but smiled nervously at me, and I saw that he was delicately walking a balance beam between respecting his teacher’s instruction, and respecting mine. He seemed to be swaying ever so slightly under the weight of this while he waited for me to finish. I thought I detected tiny beads of perspiration forming on his forehead, and he smiled at me with a pinched smile. His eyes darted back and forth, and then he would make eye contact with me and smile again, shyly.
After what surely seemed like an hour (but what was actually closer to 4 minutes), I was finished, and handed the lanyards to him, which he clutched like a trophy. As he left the workroom I called to remind him not to forget his pencils. I got an especially fun look from him for that.
His teacher reported that he came into the classroom and turned over the lanyards. Then he told her, “I have to be honest – I finished sharpening the pencils quite a bit earlier….”
Beauty in the day: they came in together, each with their own ailment – one whose arm was hurting (for no apparent reason), the other who said she hurt her side a few days prior, and it was hurting.
“Oh! I never like it when that happens either! Have you tried the rubbing thing?”
They had not, but looked somewhat intrigued. I had to pull out a more engaging explanation than usual, because I know these littles.
“Oh, yes – let’s do try. You just take this hand, and then you gently rub, and sometimes pat, just like your mommy would do – does your mommy do that?”
Their mommies did not do that.
“Oh, well, how lucky! I’ll bet you never thought that you would get to go home and teach something to your mama, did you?”
Once again, intrigued.
“I think I can bend my arm better now!”
“My side feels better!”
“Wow! you two are just like little magical fairies!”
They left in agreement of that statement.
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.
Beauty in the day: day 1 back at the ranch. We made it through to the day’s end – a bit of a feat, given that we had just come off of being spoiled with a two-week Winter Break.
All the children were being led, as usual, to the front of the school for dismissal. Dozens and dozens of happy little kindergarten faces called out Happy New Year wishes to me as they passed by, until one precious little tot gurgled happily to me, “Happy Thanksgiving!” This led to a somewhat confused chorus of sheep echoing the sentiment, until they were righted once again by the correct phrase.
I’m pretty sure it was a well-educated first grader that set them all straight.
Those first graders are as smart as all get-out.
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.