Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rushy McRusherson

This morning I was driving to work and noticed a guy... a fence-building kind of guy.  He was walking along freshly placed fence posts (a project that started about a week ago).  He carefully took the time to wiggle each post... making sure it was secure.  Then he checked to make sure that each post was level.  Whatever happened next is unknown to me... I kept driving.  I guess I'll see the progress when I drive by again tomorrow.

I started thinking that if I was ever having a fence built, I would hope that the "builder guy" (as Jake calls them) would have that same attention to detail.  I would be upset if they just rushed through the job and my fence blew over in 3 years.

Then, it struck me.... the "AH HA MOMENT!"

In the workforce we want employees that ensure a job is done PROPERLY.  That people are paying attention to those little details.  That things are not rushed through just to get it done quickly.

But in our classrooms, well, mine anyway.... we tend to rush through everything.  GO... pray, GO.... snack, HURRY.... late for Music, QUICK... to the bathroom, No time for a story at the end of the day.... etc, etc, etc.  We even have a fast version of our goodbye song (for when the parents are already there and we aren't quite done).

YIKES!!! How am I training these little TIKES?

What kind of workers will they be?

Will they be rushing the day away task by task, feeling like they haven't really done a decent job of anything.

Is life a series of checkmarks on a to-do list?

For me, it seems to be (lately anyway).  And it's the kids that are missing out.

WERE missing out.

I'm going to change my outlook.  I'm going to focus on slowing down and REALLY experiencing things.  We'll take our time getting to music (the kids can't tell time anyway.... they don't know we're late).  I'll let them glue on that last piece of ribbon, even if I already called for clean-up time.  

If we don't get to everything.... I'm going to be OK with it.  If an idea exists... and it doesn't happen... the kids won't know.  They won't care either.  And at the end of the day I'd rather them have one hundred QUALITY experiences than 62 Bajillion rushed experiences.

Enjoy taking time with the short people in your life.  They deserve it.... so do you.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Plan C

"Plan C" will forever be known as "Plan Carolyn."

This lady is amazing.... and, well, that is a gross understatement.  Carolyn is "the speech lady," but as anyone who knows her knows, she is sooooooo much more.  Carolyn brings excitement and learning to EVERYTHING.  

Let me tell you about how she saved the pumpkin patch day..............

Our initial Pumpkin Patch farm visit had to be cancelled because of a school scheduling conflict.  We begged a local pumpkin farmer (can't name the farm because I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate every Kindergarten teacher in the city calling them for tours and free pumpkins).  The date was set... I couldn't go (meetings)... so "Mrs. F" (the sub) was up for the challenge. 

Everything was set up.  Nametags out.  Bus booked.  Reminder bracelets sent home.  Gardening scissors ready.  Camera battery charged.

And then... it rained.... and rained... and rained.  

I sent the Plan B plans and moved on.... knowing that this just wasn't our year for pumpkins.  :(

And then, CAROLYN GOT AN IDEA (I love when that happens).


Send 2 moms out to pick up the pumpkins from the farm.
Move the tables out of the middle of the room.
Lay down a giant tarp.
Skipping ropes for vines.
Everyone cut out a paper leaf to attach to the vine.
Read "It's Pumpkin Time."
Kids take a pumpkin and attach it to their leaf.
Smile for a picture.
Read another pumpkin story.
Everyone takes their pumpkin home.


Thanks Mrs. Carolyn.  I am so blessed to have you on our team.  

Thankful is an understatement.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Look at these leaves... same plant, same vine, same climate, same hours of sunlight per day, same amount of precipitation...... but VERY different otherwise.

I've been admiring the changing leaves a lot this fall.  But over and over again, I find myself pondering why certain leaves and trees change sooner than others.  I'm sure that a Horticulturalist could explain the process to me using fancy terms like photosynthesis and chlorophyll.... but I prefer to use this 'phenomenon' as an analogy (I kind of have a thing for analogies... maybe you've noticed).

The group of trees represent different cities.  Each Tree represents one school.  Each branch represents a classroom in that school.  Each leaf is a student in that classroom.

By now you're either thinking that I'm nuts or you're intrigued.  Either way, you're still reading... that's positive  ;)

It's amazing how closely nature represents humans in this scenario.

2 leaves.
Side by side.
Both getting EXACTLY the same thing.
Both facing the same "elements."
But both reacting TOTALLY differently to their environment.

Same goes for students in a classroom, classrooms in a school, and schools in a city.

It is POSSIBLE to give each student EXACTLY the same programming (not smart... just possible).  But even when doing so, each child will respond differently to the teaching style, the physical environment and the social situation.

So, instead, I challenge you to treat every leaf on your trees as beautiful and unique.  Give each one of them exactly what they NEED... not exactly what everyone else is getting.