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.