Joy at school

It was a joyful return to school. The students were all so excited to see me and ready to tell me things and hear a story and tell me things and ask questions and tell me more things. Each step along each story time elicited more comments and questions, and even hilarious laughter.

We all had a good time with one of my favorite stories, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, about a very tiny girl in first grade who has buck teeth, a squeaky voice, and fumble fingers. Her grandma supplies the advice that works which gives her confidence when she must move and go to a new school where a bully tries, and fails, to rattle her. Her good natured confidence, though, changes the bully.

I had all the students stand up in their square on the rug, pull their shoulders back, hold up their head, stretch up as tall as they could, smile, and look me and each other in the eye. Then I had them lower their eyes, hang their head, erase the smile, look sad. How did each feel? Which did they like best? How did it make them feel to see their classmates look happy or sad. Then we talked about confidence. What can you do when you feel confident? ANYTHING! Those kids make me feel good about our future.

When I handed out the teddy bears four weeks ago, we took a group picture of each class, and today I handed each first grader, whether they were there that day or not, a photo of the class. That really started the conversations. First they found themselves, then their friends, and then they noticed who was missing. One boy had brought his bear to school (with a set of clothes on it) and showed the bear what it looked like the day he received it. Oh, my.

Tomorrow I go back and see three more classes and tell the story three more times and hand out the class pictures. I’m sure there will be more joy.

14 responses to “Joy at school

  1. How simply wonderful! Lots and lots of joy already, and more to come. 🙂

  2. You are one special lady. Children are so much fun and it was great you all had a joyful day.

  3. You are a gift to those children!

  4. This is so wonderful, Delaine. Thank you for the book suggestion. I’m looking for good books to read to my grandsons. I meet with them twice a week now on FaceTime for a couple of hours. I love what you’re doing for these children. You’re adding such joy and confidence to their lives.

    • Next week will read Chrysanthemum which has a small girl who lacks confidence, just the opposite of Molly Lou Melon. We will do comparisons of the two characters and what advice the students might give to Chrysanthemum.

  5. Just love this … thanks for sharing.

  6. It is wonderful to be back, isn’t it?

  7. how magic was that – one of the bears, now clothed. But also being able to be back in the classroom, something you thought might not happen…positive thoughts on the future

  8. So creative -and life-affirming!

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