Everyday I think and often say; “these kids amaze me; they are brilliant and tender and hopeful and raw and fluid and ripe.” Do all teachers feel this way – we can only hope.
Today in the big yard, we had the rope out again. I said; “let’s play tug o’ (pause while I stumble around and figure out what to put in place of war) heave hoe!” It’s now the game of heave hoe and they love it, especially since they all played against lil’ ol’ me. They started out playing against each other but they really just wanted to all play against me. I don’t usually advocate “play against” or “win” and I didn’t really do that here either but man they kicked my behind. They figured out that if they used the volleyball pole and the bars as anchors that I couldn’t pull back – didn’t I just say; “do these kids really need a teacher?” It was a hoot, a holler and a heave hoe. Just ask Paul, he was there to witness the whole rotten debacle of me slip, sliding across the wood chips.
Today we also continued our multi-dimensional geometric designs with marshmallows and toothpicks. Wow, who knew this project would be the foundation for future architects. The objects are truly phenomenal. We are going to do this project all week long because as Brigit said; “Michelle, I like to work on things a really long time.” Thank goodness, someone does – she is a wonder at design and symmetry. Today I was talking to Sarah about how everyone has their specialty. This is so true. I’m hoping that my stories show how everyone in our class has their own special place, importance and shining moments.
We also made GAK today for science. We had two containers, I asked what colors they wanted, and one group said blue and the other said pink. I think I’ve tried to be so gender neutral or even opposite that I didn’t even see this coming or notice that I was helping them to make PINK and BLUE – all I thought was, they want pink and blue and lets do it. But after about a half an hour, I heard someone say lets go to the boy GAK and it took me a minute. I was thinking were there boys at one and girls at another and I looked up again and there they were – separating themselves by society deemed gender colors and there we had baby shower blue and pink – Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I took a breath and said; “hmmm, why is that the boy container?” and someone said; “because it’s blue.” I said; “hmmm, well, I’m wearing blue today, am I a boy? And they all said; “no” (while laughing of course) and then Neve said; “I’m wearing blue too.” They kept playing, the next time I looked they had switched, the girls were at the blue GAK, and the boys were at the pink GAK. Then they just mixed it up again and seemed to have forgotten and even mixed the two colors together. It’s funny, this blue/pink rule that exists. Argh – I’m trying. Hope they didn’t notice all my hmmms and deep breathing.