Thursday, June 12, 2008

How Do They Come up with These Things??

My students truly astound me sometimes. How so much wisdom, cuteness, and craziness can be crammed into such a little person is a mystery. Sometimes, I wonder if they have any idea just how adorable they are.

Yesterday I let E5-A, one of my advanced classes, play with the sticky ball for the last six minutes of class, since they had been really good for their whole lesson. They love the sticky ball! I draw a dartboard on the board with different points for each section, and then the kids throw the ball and try to get the highest total score. For the older classes, like this one, I make things more interesting by adding a "-2" ring to the target.

The kids were happily taking turns, and I went to throw the ball to Meg. I didn't throw it far enough, and it landed at Jake's feet. Now Jake is a charming, precocious child who is always coming up with something cute or clever to say, and yesterday was no exception.

"Teacher, it's my turn!" He claimed.
"No, Jake, give the ball to Meg," I instructed.
"But Teacher," Jake insisted, "it's my turn. God gave me the ball!"

Last week, E5-A was working on a lesson from their Backpack book (I really like that curriculum), when I suddenly noticed that the boys were whispering amongst themselves. I asked them what was going on, and they held up their books to show me the picture that was at the root of their conversation. The picture showed a violin teacher (a man) with his arm around his student (a girl), showing her how to hold her instrument properly.

"Oh, Teacher!" Jake cried. "That music teacher is a very bad man!"

Is it any wonder I leave E5-A laughing every day?

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"