Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jelly Week

Handley Elementary officially opened its doors and started strong with a week of jelly.  We spelled jelly, we read jelly, we ate jelly, we wrote jelly, and we visited the sea jellies at the aquarium.  I think it was a successful beginning.
As the headmaster at Handley, I learned many valuable lessons.
1.  Never teach a hungry student.
2.  Always keep the markers well away from the 18 month old explorer.
3.  Think longer term.

I was so excited/nervous about my first week at school that I threw everything I had into it. I stayed up late researching and making lesson plans.  I did prep-work at night when I should have been sleeping.  I sacrificed sanity and peace during the day for extra minutes of lesson time.  My thoughts seemed to assume that there was nothing beyond Friday.
I was very wrong.
This isn't an experiment and it certainly isn't a week's vacation.  This is a choice to be with my kids all day, every day, with no breaks (Zeke doesn't nap).  It's a bit of an adjustment for all of us.      

Highlight of Jelly Week:
We went to a small local aquarium to see the sea jellies one afternoon and I had one of those amazing peaceful, "this is good" moments.  While I was chasing little ones around wishing that someone would just close all the doors, Zeke stood at the touch tank and talked with the volunteer there for 20 minutes.  On his own.  The volunteer was patient, kind and excited.  She listened to Zeke and Zeke listened to her.  He loved the personal attention and all that time with the hermit crabs, sea stars, limpets and sundry.  We got a one-on-one lesson from a different volunteer about microscopes, barnacles, sea urchins and brine fish.  I'm not sure Zeke understood all of it, but he remembered that a barnacle eats with his feet, and he watched the barnacle grabbing brine fish and stuffing them in his mouth.         

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