I finished a very busy week with three school tours at Kearney Mansion today. Rambunctious third graders, the day before Christmas break begins. It feels wonderful to be home and sit on the couch with no more responsibilities until Sunday when Terry and I light the four Advent candles at church.
The past week was busy but fun. The school had lunch every day outside (in 50+ degree weather) because the cafeteria was being used for dance lessons. The lessons were provided through an arts grant, and I’m glad the whole school got the opportunity to dance. Fortunately the two days I was at school the sun shined and made for a pleasant lunch time. However, the kids were getting anxious for their holiday break (three weeks) and so behavior wasn’t always the best.
Oh Thursday, after lunch was eaten, I had to retreat to the office, and sit on the naughty bench, as the chaos at lunch and recess was more than my elderly brain could absorb. I chatted with a 4th grade boy who was sent to the office for throwing paper that hit the teacher.
When I asked why he wasn’t doing his work, he said he had finished it and the teacher hadn’t given them any more to do. I asked why he wasn’t reading a book and he claimed he didn’t have one. So, I gave him a book I had been carrying around in my bag, just waiting for the right kid. It’s called The Red Rubber Ball and it’s about chasing one’s dream and being creative.
This young man talked about how he was creative and liked to build things. We also talked about how he would explain his situation to the principal who is also a retired educator who has been substituting at Columbia. She is beyond amazing.
When the boy was called in she asked what he had in his hand; he explained the book and crayons that “lady out there” gave them to him. The substitute principal came out, sat next to me on the naughty bench, and we had a good laugh about the whole thing. She said that she thought both she and I were too old to be doing this and should be suspended. She even tried to get the office manager to send us home. I told you she’s amazing. The office manager told us to get back to our jobs.
Good teachers know that kids will get into mischief if not presented with worthwhile tasks. Give a kid a book.