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Thursday, February 14, 2013


Yesterday I apprehended a student attempting to copy another student's assignment.  World shattering news?  Not even.  It was a creative assignment (make up 25 of your own words using the 55 Latin roots.  Illustrate 10 of them and put the whole thing into a dictionary of your own making).  Good GRIEF!!  Passing someone's creative composition off as your own???????  School policy dictates that that kid receive a 0.  But what to do about the other gal...the one whose work was being exploited?  I took her out in the hall.  As I suspect, oftentimes schoolwork is not surrendered willingly to the thief. Such was the case this time.  We had a good talk about possible ways to fend off kids like that.  Sweet child.  My epiphany came as I continued my calm interrogation.  Without revealing anything personal (because sometimes my kids drop in here), let me just describe what happened.  As I looked into that young girl's eyes I was absolutely overcome.  You know those scenes in movies when the character has a flashback and about 50 scenes flash onto the screen in about 3 seconds?  I had one of those!!!!  Twenty four years of accumulated experiences with kids from 5 to 18 years old all came tumbling back, not only into my head (memory) but also my heart (soul), and I could call it all good.  Even as I write this I'm emotional once again.  I saw kids perched on my "editing stool" as we read their compositions together--laughing so hard that tears came, getting side-tracked, sharing secrets.  I saw moments in my classroom when the curriculum stepped aside so that REAL learning could take place as kids felt free to bear real feelings and frustrations.  I saw comradry.  I saw anticipation.  I saw little people in the palm of my hand for story after story after story.  Putty.  Two dozen years in a pretty mediocre pay scale in 3 different states from sea to shining sea.  I saw all the thousands and thousands of dollars I've given to universities to have that privilege--enough to buy 2 Subarus and take a trip to Kathmandu.  All leading up to that single fleeting moment yesterday.  I'm hoping death brings a similar experience depicting my whole life!  And I hope then too I can call it all good...

1 comment:

Patti said...

What a sweet experience, and recounted so perfectly, it brought a tear to my eye as well.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley