Wednesday, May 18, 2005

kids are amazing

this morning i had the pleasure of volunteering in my friend's classroom. they are doing a unit on poetry and i came in as 'guest' speaker. it was a little overwhelming to see twenty-some-odd little faces squirming eager and intent as i read them some of my age-appropriate poems. they had all kinds of great observations and questions. we did a mini-lesson together, organizing images and corresponding feelings of the beach. then, they all sat down and wrote their own poems using our starting point as reference. their creativity was impressive, their humor undeniable.

i really have to hand it to all the teachers out there. what a wonderful job you have, helping our children learn all about the world. it's got to be a really demanding day, keeping all those kids in line. the range of proficiency is so wide at that age (3rd/4th grade), i can't imagine putting together lessons. it's much more physically and mentally demanding than i would have thought (i guess that's why you get all those summers off).

while kids these days are growing up faster than we did, it was refreshing to be in the midst of their innocence. when else in your life can you shout out 'crabs!' and know everyone in the room is thinking of sea creatures? it was inspiring for me to listen to their words, art, and imaginations. in small groups i witnessed them encouraging each other to be proud of their work, to share, to shine. while my contention stands that i shouldn't be around large groups of them for too long, kids today are pretty gosh darn amazing.

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