Saturday, March 31, 2012

I am on vacation this week

I know the populace at large doesn't think so, but we work really hard in elementary schools.  We balance the emotional, physical and educational needs of 22 students at every moment of every day, 7 hours at a time. It is quite a juggling act to get a classroom full of 5 and 6 year olds to function as a cohesive whole. My hat is off to the teachers. As a teacher's aide myself I know the hard work my para-pro colleagues do as well.

We are on spring break this week and I am really glad. The weather is perfect and I am looking forward to kicking back. I've accumulated several books to read, theology etc. I plan to do a little work at my front door sprucing it up with plants and bushes. The landlord dug out the soil last year and cemented over right next to the door so I can't plant, but I'll put some pots out and some flowers. I plan to take it easy, but I'm not traveling anywhere. Gas prices are too high and I like to be home anyway.

I read this morning that three people won the record jackpot Mega Millions, splitting 200 million apiece. Wow. What I could do with that money... Someone's life is changed this morning. I'm glad for the three families, but worried too. That much money always brings trouble.

My cat is so polite. When I'm on the couch, he sits on the floor and looks at me quietly. He only jumps up to my lap if I pat the couch invitingly. This morning he sat on the other end of the table and waited for me to finish breakfast. I don't know how he knew I was done, but when I took the last sip of coffee and set the cup down, then he got up and sat next to me.

I was reading a book with a kindergartener in class. Sam and Al. Sam is a lion and Al is a zookeeper. Sam and Al are pals. I explained what pals are. At one point Al patted the lion through the bars of the cage. I said, "I don't know if I'd pat the lion with my hand like that. He might bite it off." The child said, "Mrs Prata! They're pals." Everything is so literal and so simple for kids.

Though in another instance, their minds make a leap that are uncannily spooky. I was working with a boy in math. We had a pile of little colored plastic puppies. I had him do different groups that make up ten, and then I said he could play with them. He immediately lined them all up in rows of three. I said, "That looks like a kennel." He didn't know what a kennel was, so I explained that it is a place where doggies go when their human mommy and daddy go on a trip. All the dogs stay at a place like a doggie hotel. He must have picked up on the abandonment part and not the hotel part. He immediately rearranged the groups and said, "Look. They're waiting for their soup."

I laughed and said it's not an orphanage...but he was sort of right.

So it is 63 degrees out, the birds are singing. There was a gentle rain all night so maybe the pollen will lay down today. It's sunny and bright. I have the privilege of deciding whether to go to the Farmer's Market, or stay in and slunge in my PJ's. Ahhh, vacations.

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