Saturday, February 14, 2009

Young bloom?

Do you remember your first crush?...Your first "puppy luv"? Did it happen at school?...In kindergarten or first grade? Did it hit you in pre-school? I've recently witnessed all of the above and it is inspiring on a day like today...Valentine's Day. It must be a cultural thing to some degree. I saw an article in the newspaper about India's public disdain for such "PDA's". Their traditions are being threatened by our "western proclivities" (also Christian i.e. Saint Valentine) They prefer to keep it all private and in the family-at-large with eventual brides and grooms being chosen and pre-arranged by the family elders. Then there is the slow process of "growing into" love. Who knows what is best...what works? Their divorce rate is much lower.

However, I digress once again. I had to sub in a classroom yesterday that celebrated Valentine's Day Eve. (Friday, the 13th! we didn't go there...since it was a first grade) I have been subbing in this room alot this year and have gotten to know them all by name/personality. I have observed "young luv" blossoming. Last week it was in assembly seating, holding hands, arms around shoulders etc....yes, in first grade. I separated the couples and wrote notes to their regular teacher. Yesterday, during early lessons, I again noticed they had switched seats without permission. All very "tame" mind you but still very evident and persistent.

We did the usual party the last hour of class. Certain students/parents had brought cupcakes, cookies, candy treats. No parents volunteered to stay. This is usually a given in the primary, but not at this school I guess. Those who brought treats got to pass them out during the preceeding recess. They loved it. It was cold and almost rainy outside. Then those who brought Valentines Cards for "all class members" had to walk around and delivier them to the desks. They had been warned by their regular teacher not to pass out to "favorites" first (or only). We put on some "music about love" and some happy banjo music (see previous post) and...let them go at it. Since it was Friday, they were used to the last half hour being "Fun Friday" if they had turned in their homework. This was a "review week" homework. Fun Friday allows "free choice" of computer games, floor games, table games or...a big hit, writing on the white board. So I insisted that they finish their food treats and reading their valentines before they got up to roam the room for games...with their sticking hands. I played dominoes with 5 at a time. We sang a love song (without uke) that they could sing to their little brothers and sisters when they got home: "Skiddamarinky dinky dink" Most of them knew it.

We only had one child who couldn't handle the "freedom" without getting upset and tattling twice. He was put in "P.O.C." (Prisoner of Chair) for the rest of the party hour...tears. This was the way we motivated undivided attention all during the day's lessons...P.O.C. They got 4 warnings i.e. name on board, and three subsequent warnings where they had distracted themselves or others from the lesson. They also had to put their name on the board if they asked to go to the restroom more than once during the lessons. (some want to run to the distant restrooms every 15 mins.) Recess is for playing, not drinks and restrooms. Sounds harsh, but it become necessary at this level. One cutie, all dressed in pink, red and white stripes...even her leotards, came back from a trip in tears. She had been running, tripped and fell. She tore a big hole in her stockings at the knee and was bleeding. I sent her, with a friend, to the nurse for a bandaid.

The absent teacher's desk was piled high with "love notes" and treats. They missed her. I even got a couple cards and a balloon. Her lesson plans included printed, colored heart candy treats that they had to organize, count and make a bar graph with. They enjoyed that but had to be reminded not to eat the lesson too soon. "We did this last year in Kindergarten." "Oh well," I replied, "this time you can do it better and faster. What else could we count and display in a graph?" Cards? Pencils? Crayons? Classmates we luv? RRR

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

True?...confession: I broke my collar bone in kindergarten chasing after my first "luv" I don't remember her name. RRR