Saturday, February 20, 2016

After a School Vacation…

After a school vacation, I welcome the kids back…
…and re-set the class culture, and I don't just dive into academics.  I want the kids to see the big picture.  Why are we here?  How can we enjoy the school experience—and the bigger picture: life!

I’ll review school rules, as if it were the first day of school--it is.  A world of non-school has passed since kids were last here.

I’ll read this book: Is There Really a Human Race, by Jamie Lee Curtis.  Yes, the Jamie Lee, the famous actress, with the even more famous mother-actress: Janet Leigh, the one who screamed in the shower in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  Jamie Lee is one of the finest children authors around.

This book’s little boy hero asks:
Is there really a human race?
Is it going on now all over the place?
When did it start?
Who said, "Ready, Set, Go"?

To the question: Is the human race an obstacle course?  He realizes that everyone is different, everyone has challenges, and everyone can show kindness to make the world a better place.

I'll ask my kids what human qualities or experiences are most important to them.  I know their answers will surprise me, but I imagine some might say:
“I am racing toward…”

·         Friendship

·         Kindness

·         Love

·         Happiness

·         Loving life

·         Loving the Earth

·         Springtime

·         Goodness

And they can draw a picture of themselves racing toward their own vision of goodness.  It'll make a beautiful display piece, and also a beautiful welcome back to school.  
School should be a grand welcome to the human race!

If you’d like to ease your transition back from school vacation, you might find this useful: a packet of school rules, with step-by-step directions for teaching rules, and kid-friendly discussions on why we should follow each one.

Enjoy every moment of your vacation, and your transition back to school! 

P.S. I had to report that one of my kids smiled wryly and said, "I'm racing toward a taco stand."  A real beaut!

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