At Tree Land School the students know they are important. They are busy studying as they look for their place in the world.
One rainy day recess included a movie of classic stories. The kids all loved the fairy godmother character.
It got a guy to thinking and he asked, “If there can be a fairy godmother, can there be a “fairy godbrother?”
I could see my work was cut out for me. My class had some learning to do!
Yet I couldn’t help but be fascinated with the idea. Why couldn’t there be a fairy godbrother? Maybe he would stop bullies in their tracks. Maybe we should team up to write the Chronicles of My Fairy Godbrother next week. Hmm.
Kids pick up lots of stuff from TV. Since commercials are louder, brighter, and made to appeal. That is often what children remember. (This is why I use sound bytes to teach the multiplication facts etc.)
One girl said the TV confused her. “On an ad about some medicine, they said that that pill could give people problems with murder skills.” After a bit of discussion I relayed it was motor skills. Vocabulary is lurking all around the school, waiting to catch unsuspecting students at any moment!
The children loved the school garden so much some even chose to spend time there during recess. A dedicated gardener asked, “Do we have a tiller?” I responded, “No, but I know we need one.”
The child answered, “I have one. We have one for our garden. You should get the school one.” Since the school budget was exhausted, I explained, “They cost a lot of money so I don’t know when that can be done.”
Then the young man clued me in: “Yeah, but if you had a Grandma, you could get one. My Grandma gives me all kinds of stuff, money, presents, and whatever I want. I get all that just for nothing! You really need to get yourself a Grandma!”
Too bad my midget Grandma has passed on. May she rest in peace as she smirks at this idea. She lived back in the day when we were thrilled to get a cookie from our Grandma. But her contagious giggle will always be in my heart and habits.
In Social Studies we learn about our world. A girl who just loved maps heard something on the news about Syria’s border. She asked me, “Are some borders really serious and others just don’t matter that much? I’m trying to figure that out.” If you ask me, that gal was pretty smart. However, since I am the teacher, I went on to explain and planned the next days lesson on borders, maps and sealing wax.
Lunch is a time for me to get a glance into what the students are really thinking. One guy was so excited about eating out with his family the day before. He brought the leftover lion chops in his lunch. I thought we’d better move on to animals in Science, being sure to cover lions and pork chops, touching lightly on how butchers name the cuts of meat like loin chops.
A little gal seemed to be tearing up, so I walked up to her and gave her a hug. She told me she was so worried. As I listened, she said her mom had just had surgery. As the tears turned into talking I paid close attention. She continued, “My mom had that kind of surgery to take her scallops out.” I felt a sudden cough coming on as I figured out it was polyps.
A number of students attend church, and some come away with strong impressions and questions. One guy said he had a great idea, “I’ve been thinking. Just in case I go to hell, maybe I should be nice to Satan. That would cover me so then I might be ‘high up in hell’ if that’s where I end up.”
I assured him I didn’t think he’d end up in hell, and that making friends with the devil might not be a good goal. I encouraged him to think a little more about that one before deciding, and to discuss it with his mom. (I knew his mom would have a good chuckle, then patiently chat with her son without negative judgment.)
As I went home that night, I mused on what my student said about a Fairy Godbrother. Maybe it’s time to give my brother a phone call. This is a good day to remember that we are all brothers and sisters. And there is a spark of God in each of us.
So, good night, my Fairy Godbrother, wherever you are.
Copyright 2014 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.