Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Mends

When school was over today, instead of their usual playground fun, my son and a couple of his friends got down to work. On their hands and knees, they clawed at the gravel like dogs burying a bone. Pebbles rained down into holes in the sidewalk, patching the path till the surface was smooth—more or less. I asked them why they were working so hard instead of playing.

"So nobody's wheelchair gets stuck in there."

It's Grandparents' Week at our school and the grandparents we've seen run the gamut. Some are smoking hot grannies, owning the halls in tight jeans and high heels. But others are very, very old, making their way to their grandbaby's classroom only with the help of a wheelchair—and three sweet little boys.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good Hair Day

I wasn't in my classroom five minutes this morning before my students' behavior had me in tears. In this case, it was a very good way to start the day.

One of my little princesses was having a hair emergency. This is more common than you might think among four-year-old girls. It's important that one look one's best for a full day of nose picking and Barbie playing. And this little girl did not have what she deemed an adequate hairstyle for her agenda. When Dad brought her to the classroom, it was evident that she had made her dissatisfaction clear on the drive to school. Apparently, very clear.

I wanted her to be happy, so I did my best to find a ponytail holder to solve her problem, but I struck out. I needed to move on with our day, so she was going to have to wait.

But not for long.

Another little girl in our class, let's just call her My Favorite, was paying attention. Without being asked, she took the ponytail out of her own hair and used the holder to take care of her friend. Gently, she smoothed her friend's hair into place and, without a word, returned to her seat.

I wish I could teach them half as much as they teach me.