If I shared with you a useful tip from ‘The Sisters’ would you know who I was referring to?
If you knew we had a CAFE in our kindergarten classroom would you understand why?
Meet The Sisters.
Their tip this week hits home with me, a self-proclaimed Type A.
Type A mom? Ask my daughters, they will confirm this without hesitation. They blame me for their own type A tendencies. Typical behavior of the Type A!
Type A wife? Just ask either one of my husbands. And, yes, even Type A personalities have a sense of humor.
Type A teacher? Ask my students, but make sure they raise their hand first and answer with a complete sentence!
Listen in on a recent (and typical) conversation at our house.
Jim: Hun, it’s going to be a great sunset tonight; do you want to take a drive to Harris Hill and catch it?
Me: (as I am organizing the magazines on the coffee table for the 3rd time that night) Uh…what time?
Jim: Leave here in about 10 minutes?
Me: (as I continue to create perfection by alphabetizing the arranged magazines) Can you give me like 20 minutes?
Jim: (as patient as possible), NO! The sun will not wait for you.
Me: (picking up the magazines and taking them with me to watch the sunset because I can’t just sit there, I have to be ‘doing something’) Go start the car; I’ll be right there!
by Kristen Ackerman, via The Sisters
I admit to being a high strung control freak; it works for me. I like to stick to my routines.
The other night my husband came home from work and announced that we were all going to the beach. As my kids squealed with delight, I sighed with dread thinking about a later bedtime, the lunches that needed to be packed for the next day, and a second bath once we returned home. My weeknight routine was ruined.
We got to the beach and the kids started building sand castles
while my husband went free diving. He brought up two lobsters for the kids to play with (Florida lobsters don’t have pincers so they are pretty harmless) and we ended up eating them for dinner. As the sun began to set we found a baby sea turtle crawling away from the ocean instead of towards it. My children gave the baby turtle a kiss, said a prayer for him and put him in the water. The four of us watched as he swam out into the big ocean and the moment was nothing short of magic. Days later my two and four year old are still talking about that baby sea turtle. They are convinced that he is safe and healthy because they asked God not to let a shark eat him.
It is so easy for me to stick with what works in life and in my classroom. It is uncomfortable to try something new or break a routine when I am not sure of the outcome.
Right now I am trying out a new idea in our writing workshop. I am not really sure if it is going to work as well as I hope but I know that I will be a better teacher for trying. I have taught essays the same way for years and I think I have come up with a more effective method. I am sure that every moment won’t be as perfect as my trip to the beach, but I do think my students will be able to write stronger essays. I was talking to two colleagues the other day and they both mentioned new ideas that they were trying out and laughing about how things were not going as smoothly as they had hoped.
I really enjoyed eating lobster for dinner, rescuing that baby sea turtle and most of all having a special night with my family. It served as a powerful lesson to push myself a bit and break the routine both in life and in my classroom.
Magic may await.
The plan can wait. The sunset won’t.