Monday, July 25, 2016

Slice of Life Play

       I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.

      "Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these."

-Susan B. Anthony




     You may tire of hearing about my granddaughters, and I will try not to share too, too much often. I no longer have students to observe, and I don't think I will ever stop observing kid behavior. That's what teachers do. 
       This week I've spent a lot of time with the grand-girls for various reasons. I want today to emphasize the power of play, lately praised, and spoken of as a great need, and a great lack in some children's experiences entering schools. Ingrid is seven and Imogene turns five this coming Friday. They do need some supervision of course, but quite a few minutes in this past week I've only served as audience. They both love to sing, and create elaborate, often silly, songs for my (and I suspect their) entertainment. They play off each other, one directing the song, the other does back-up (they watch a lot of music videos with their parents.) Today, I offer one small story. Ingrid was pretending to give the weather and the news with a fake microphone I have. Once in a while, she would refer to Imogene, who gave some news story. I emphasize that I am only observing, no suggesting ideas. 
       In the midst of this play action, Ingrid announced a new show. I promise that she have never seen a reality show! The show was named "Parents Trick Children" and you can imagine what I "imagined". Oh no, this seven year old is about to call out her parents! However, this older person, me, with no innocence left, was so wrong. One of her ideas is that parents could "trick" their children by having them wake up in the morning to wonderful swings in their backyards. Or, they could wake up to a special visitor who lives far away.  Those are indeed "tricks"!
        It sounds like wishing, it probably is something Ingrid has thought about herself, understanding that "trick" is a good thing to happen. I thought of the other side: "tricking" is not positive. 
         Thinking of point of view is important so that we can understand others, for teachers, parents, grandparents, spouses, friends, and when especially playing with a seven and a five year old. Trying hard NOT to make assumptions, NOT stereotyping can serve as a lesson for us in all our interactions.

34 comments:

  1. I love your stories...all of them!!! Your observations are thoughtful and inspiring...I'm thinking about the space I made to spend Friday morning playing with our Eliana, who has become obsessed with me? Maybe saying Bonnie... I'm going to follow your lead with my iPhone.
    Bonnie K

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    1. How great will be those Friday mornings, Bonnie. You will make good memories for Eliana, and for you, too. Thanks!

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  2. I love reading about your moments with your granddaughters and in my opinion, you can't really overshare! This is a great lesson to take to heart--how perspective colors what we anticipate, what we see, and how we experience things. This is also a great lesson to keep in mind as we welcome our students and their differing world views to our classroom--recognizing that we need to avoid making assumptions about them but also that they have possibly (probably?) made their own assumptions about us and school. Food for thought...Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Molly, and I love that you turned it around and reminded that students come with their own assumptions about us and school, something to remember, too.

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  3. I love your stories, too, and this one is beautiful--1) that you didn't insert yourself into their play and 2) for the wonder-filled innocence of childhood that is conveyed here. Two things to remember. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jane, it's wonderful that each of you are connecting in different ways.

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  4. I've spent the last two weeks watching my granddaughter play. What a joy it is to just observe the way kids take in their world and create. You are so blessed to be so close to the grandgirls!

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    1. I do feel lucky, and that we had Carter for a lot of years. I just read your post, am happy you've had those two weeks!

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  5. Isn't it something how our POV changes as we age and we so often tend to look at negative aspects of words? We all need to step back and view things through the eyes of your granddaughters, Linda. Thanks for sharing this story and reminding us that connotation is an important part of word choice.

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    1. I was really taken aback at what I 'thought" and what occurred, Bob. Yes, it's always time to consider how we're looking at things. Thanks.

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  6. I love reading about your grand-girls and seeing photos of them. They are growing up so nicely!

    BTW: Love that quote. Just imported it into the 2017 SOLSC planning document so I can use it on DAY 1 for the 10th Annual Challenge.

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    1. Thanks, Stacey. I just found the quote in a document where I store different ideas. I loved it too, and glad you'll use it!

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  7. Never get tired of hearing about your grandkids! Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to watch our girls while Mommy worked. It is amazing how their imagination works and plays off each other. So much fun to just observe and listen.

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    1. So glad to hear you love this too, Judy. It is a wonderful thing to see. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Ahhhh how true that as teachers we never stop observing!! I was at a water park with my sister and daughter last week. While we were in the wave pool, I found myself constantly checking the whereabouts of practically every single kid in my range of sight!

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    1. Ha! I know what you mean. It happens just about everywhere. Glad you told me!

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  9. I am glad to get to read about your granddaughters. I know from your comments that you had granddaughters, but now I feel like I know them a little better. Funny, how kids perspective, because of their innocence can be so different from ours.

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    1. And most often I wish we could keep that perspective, Lisa. Thanks!

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  10. You are paving the way to the day when I have grandchildren. I am sure I will have nothing else of interest to write about but them. How fun to watch this pretend play. It ends all too quickly.

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    1. I'm glad you're looking forward to it, Margaret. When we are at the beach, though, and "older" Carter is with the girls, there is still some "play" that appears in him too, and it looks like he likes it. Society makes kids grow up fast.

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  11. I love reading about these moments when magical memories are made. My grandchildren are also the center of my world.

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    1. Thanks, Anita. I'm happy to hear about your grandchildren!

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  12. I never tire of seeing and hearing about your grand girls. And your observations were delightful. I can just see you being the silent observer of their activities. So interesting to think about how quickly we jump to the wrong assumption, isn't it?

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    1. Yes, it really caught me off guard this time. Always learning, Ramona! Thanks!

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  13. Aw, that's so cute! A "trick" as a good thing? So sweet! I love the little moments you share here & on Facebook of them doing what kiddos do!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer, I love what you share with Marisol, too!

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  14. i totally agree... sometimes it is really hard not to make assumptions, but as a teacher, that is something you need to put aside.

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    1. Yes, and this was a surprise to me, as I "thought" I didn't make them, at least very often.

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  15. There can never be too many grandchildren stories!
    What a strong reminder bout point of view!

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    1. Thanks, Loralee. Yes, POV is something to consider ALL the time.

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  16. What a lovely lesson-within-a-story! I must remember to play "innocent" during this coming school year, instead of always relying on assumed intentions of students and staff.

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    1. After this, I know I'm gong to try to be more aware of what I'm thinking about different people and even ideas. Thanks, Chris.

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  17. Great story, Linda. I have found myself assuming that my kids are thinking something that they are not. Assumptions, ugh!

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    1. Yes, must think twice before assuming something! Thanks, Tabatha!

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