June Poems: #2

I watch her sleep

envisioning the stretches

the changes

that will happen

over time.

How will she look

in ten years time?

If I am too busy

it will feel like it all happened

in a blink.

For now, I soak up

that angel skin

and soothing snore.

Take a deep breath

and pray for more.

Money talks

opposite of spoiled

I just walked away from another conversation about money, kids and savings. So let me take this opportunity to talk about a book I am reading and recommending.  It seems like recently I am going about my day and all of a sudden I find myself talking or thinking about this book.  I have been reading through it in pieces but I am now recommitting to giving a page to page read and review. In case you can get a copy before I finish…it is facilitating amazing conversations about money in my every day life. Get it. Read it. Let’s talk.

After Kindergarten Screening

I am having my lunch and reflecting on Tuesday’s exciting and emotional event. Kindergarten Screening…I was calling it Orientation but I found out yesterday that I get to go to another visit/orientation in August. This was a chance for some of the teachers and psychologists at the school to meet & greet the families. They also separate the kids from the parents to check on some skills before placing them in classes.

This did not go as well as I hoped.

I am staying positive and open to learning more about my child and our journey together. She is magical. When she was born 4.5 years ago, I knew I was on a journey of empowerment, discovery and humble love. J has always pushed y understanding of self and a women’s role in this world. Because I want to provide a healthy happy life for her, it is causing me to examine the way we treat women, girls and children.

This is all material for some other blog posts, but what I can say now is that her time at Kindergarten Screening was emotional, enlightening and a little difficult. When we arrived we were instructed to wait in the vestibule with other families. We did not have to wait long and the staff at her new school are very kind. However, immediately after being escorted into a busy hallway, we were told we were being split apart from our kiddos. They would go one way, parents another. Juliana was trepidatious about this and didn’t want to go. Understandable so as it was her first time in the building with a lot of people she doesn’t know. I had to accompany her at the start. She was shy and nervous. They jumped right in to reading a story. A story she knows by heart but she clamped down and would not respond. She is reluctant to share herself with strangers…again I do NOT see this as a detriment. However, since my little girl came into this universe, other people have made us feel that this is not normal or not ok. (Again, I will write about this again another time) We worked through a couple of sad, teary and tough moments. I was able to pull myself away and go find the other parents.

Her school is lovely. I was sure to watch the interactions between the teachers and Principal. I wanted to see if I could sense any clues as to how things really are when families are not watching. We had a great visit from the PTA rep and we were encouraged to make little cards that will be given to our children on their first day of school. It was fun. I had this little voice or tug inside that kept me connected to her. I was sending out my energy throughout that building letting her know she is loved.

They conducted some “testing” with her. I did not get to see what they did or how she responded. Chances are, if the teacher did not take time to let her get warmed up or comfortable, she may have done nothing. It is a little sad to think J will look as if she can’t do certain skills that are actually easy for her. When I was still in that room with her she was refusing to write her name. Meanwhile, she can spell and write her first, middle, and last name.

Oh well, we have to let go, right? My husband and I are realising that she will come across to others a certain way in the beginning. But on her terms, in her time, she will let the world bask in her light. She will shine.

 

Before Kindergarten Screening

It’s a big day in our house. I am taking a half day at work on Tuesday for Kindergarten orientation. I am probably more nervous than my daughter. I am actually surprised at her excitement. I would have thought she would be terrified. She is a cautious and shy child. She can transition well from place to place, activity to activity. However, transitioning from person to person is where she struggles. She is not immediately trusting of people, which can work to our advantage in life. J is very bright and loves to learn. I am hoping that this next phase of our lives is met with enthusiasm and joy. She has such a thirst for knowledge. I know that the drone of routine can be beneficial but also stifling. I want my daughter to love school. Not just because it will make life easier for me, but because I think one of the greatest qualities a person could posses is a love of learning. I know that learning doesn’t only happen at school – but if she hates school, it may turn her off to learning in general.

Jigsaw Shakespeare

 Before we were released for Spring Break, I felt it was important to check in with my students and our passage from Midsummer. Now, it is not in our curriculum, unit plans, and it is not necessarily linked to anything we have been working on. It is simply something I love that I am sharing with my students.

I spent some time writing out the lines of “I know a bank…” on colored strips of paper. I had them with me in class and a couple of my students were intrigued. I put all of the strips in front of this group of five students. I did not arrange the strips correctly but had them scattered, out of order. I gave them the challenge of putting it all together. I was immediately surprised and delighted by their fervor. They put together as much as possible and then questioned me, “we don’t know what comes next, we didn’t learn all of this.”

I had given them a couple of lines we hadn’t done yet. They were perplexed. I told them to figure it out. Look at what they were given and break down the ideas, the code. I told them to look for things they know. I was shocked that they started discussing meaning of words, rhyme scheme, and flow. It was incredible. They did it! They put it together without me ‘telling ‘ them. Then the most amazing thing happened, one of the students went to another group of four kids and challenged them to put it together. I was exhilarated and proud. They were not only engaged in shakespeare’s words, but they were utilizing higher order cognition and having fun. This five to ten minutes was some of the best educational experience they would get for the day. Thank you Shakespeare.

(If you haven’t followed previous entries, I am using Ken Ludwig’s “Teaching your Children Shakespeare” book in my practice at home and in the classroom.)

The haves and the have nots

I’m attempting to infuse “I know a bank” into my classroom lessons. It is difficult because currently we were required to do other things. I have been more diligent with weaving the Shakespearean lines into my second period class than my first. I didn’t think much of it. I’m realising that it has caused tension and slight disappointment. My students from the second period will request more shakespeare. Some of them met my daughter earlier in the week and referred to her as “the little girl that knows shakespeare”. They tried to chat and have a connection. While some of my students in my first period seem apprehensive about continuing because I have given more to my other stidents. I step back now and realise that this not only is what happens to young students and shakespeare but to young learners of anything.

If we disproportionately provide exposure to education, experience and passion for learning, we train one group to feel inadequate, indifferent or deficient.

(If you haven’t followed previous entries, I am using Ken Ludwig’s “Teaching your Children Shakespeare” book in my practice at home and in the classroom.)

Originally written 14 April – sorry late posting some entries.

And so it begins…

If you have read previous posts of mine, you know I am reading Ludwig’s book “how to teach your children shakespeare”. I am slowly working on midsummer with my four year old. It is so much fun. When we were in Home Depot on Saturday, we went into the garden center. Juliana wanted to find the flowers mentioned in the poetry that she knew. She asked what is ‘quite overcanopied’ thinking it was a plant. I told her it was like plants growing over your head like a tunnel or umbrella. She jumped in the trolley as we walked through aisle of fruit trees because they were ‘quite overcanopied’! It is incredible what we are doing. 

Last week, one of my colleagues was telling my class about the bunny banner my girl made. She told them that J named the bunnies after some of my students. I told them I read the roster and she picked random ones she remembered. The class wanted to see pictures. I showed them. Then I had a video of J reciting I know a bank. I showed them that and told them what it was. They were impressed and competitive. They decided that if she could do it- they could do it. I told them I haven’t finished the book. They don’t care. Right there. Right then. We scratched a portion of lesson and I know a bank where the wild thyme blows went up.

They are hooked. One line and it’s theirs. Someone makes sure it is written on the board everyday. Tomorrow I need to give them line 2. They are craving it. Somehow I have made reciting Shakespeare addictive. I’m the best drug dealer that school has!!!!