Today was the fourth day of summer school (I’m teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combo class). We hadn’t even gotten to the fun stuff yet (math Bingo with M&Ms and vocabulary skits) when one second grader beamed and said, “I love summer school!”
“What part?” I asked.
“All of it!”
Her gratitude was intense and contagious. Other students murmured in agreement. Summer school is the bomb.
She could have complained about waking up, getting dressed and going to school.
She could have dreaded doing math (again).
She could have complained and compared herself to other kids who are going on vacations to California and beyond.
But she was completely present. She was 100% here with 16 other kids and me and we had a great time.
Summer School. Day Five. 12 students. Ten more days left. Our days together are so few and there is so much to do.
Kids are like mirrors. I am always learning from them and they show me things about myself. They help me be better. Today, I was teaching them how to use Word: how to open it, type in it, save , change fonts, etc. We were making Father’s Day cards and the fact that one student’s father just went to jail was not lost on me. “If you prefer to write a card to your mother or grandparent, that’s fine.” She chose to make it for her father anyway.
“What if I need to write it in Spanish? My father can’t read English.”
(Taken aback): “How do you communicate with your dad then? How do you talk to each other?”
“We say, ‘How are you?’ and simple stuff like that.”
“OK, Type it in English and we will translate it to Spanish when you are all done.”
Several kids nodded and resumed typing. I continued walking around, helping, realizing the chasm within their families.
One student asks, “Mrs. Wipff, are you going to call Anthony “honey” too?”