Monday, January 03, 2011

today's forecast: more flexibility

My classroom was so cold I could see my breath this morning.
I was thinking that I wished it were as easy as making a fire in the free-standing stove in the center of the classroom as I would've done if I'd taught a hundred-fifty years ago.
How simple.
We were cold and we couldn't get warm...why can't we just make a fire in the stove.
It was this big caffuffle that couldn't be fixed. No one seemed to know where they could get any space heaters. When they did they were sorely underwhelming; a bread box sized oil heater for an entire classroom full of children?! How does that even begin to compute.
So I took matters into my own hands. I said, "Children, enough is enough." I set them around the teensy oil heater to pretend it was a crackling fire and tell each other stories while I made a play house for them.
I took out my hammer and nails and the gigantic drop-cloths that I just knew I'd use another day and nailed them up into a kind of tented house. I put a lamp inside and then the heater and shuffled all the children inside. It was warm in no time. I read them two stories and then we spent some fun time looking at the globe and wondering and marveling at its smallness.

Then the "powers that be" had an extraordinary idea - you may add in here a note of disdain in my Oregonian accent, long, drawn out, harsh and slightly rustic. Here is how it went:

"Oh, I see you've solved your problem and you are having a terrific time in this "tent", but we've decided to move you away from all of your creative simpleness (and your art supplies and books) and you can now teach the remainder of your day in a windowless, sterile, high school lecture room. And be quick we have the van all warmed up ready to take you over there."
"We're okay here now."
"Nope, it is all set. Get your coats and let's go."

*can we take a moment to ponder that last sentence...okay, done pondering*

"Okey dokey then. Let me gather a few things first."

So, I threw in some white sheets of repurposed paper, crayons, a handful of books, our latest Laura Ingalls book we are reading, a snack for later, napkins and one puzzle.
Our day was, oh shall we say, interesting.
I kept thinking to myself, "You asked for more moments to grow your flexibility. You asked for more moments of love, of they are."

I loved that I felt on top of my game today, even though I hate to be chilled to the bone and "rescued" from my own "rescue". It was another moment to be calm and flexible and say, "Okay."

I don't want to repeat, ever again...but I definitely felt that I grew in flexibility, wisdom and love today.

I might install a stove tomorrow.


sarah said...

Ah, the eternal wisdom and creativity of good teachers. I loved your solution. I love that you just said okay. I love the photo heading this post. And I especially love that you are writing here more often these days.

karen said...

like you I too would have preffered to stay in the ''tent''. Just found you through a link, your blog looks so calm and peaceful, I may drop by again. Karen

Jacqueline said...

wisdom in the face of regulation!

Graciel @ Evenstar Art said...

you had me at the tent, and then you threw in laura ingalls wilder and i bow deeply to you, ms. creative wonder.

really, you're joining my dollhouse therapy scheme??? and even your mom, perhaps??? tell me it's true!!! i'm beyond giddy and thrilled..

xxoo, graciel