Ode to Gavin’s teacher.
In one little 15-20 minute exercise weekly, this quiet woman is turning out 1st graders who are well-equipped to speak to their peers, run meetings, answer questions and communicate their thoughts.
Gav displayed photographs and items that showed him doing things he enjoys and places he has traveled and things that represent his life-to-now in his classroom last week. He was the “Star Student of the Week.”
Mrs. M. gathered the class, each tiny little human sitting cross-legged in a cozy space, and Gavin explained each item and picture, revealing a little of himself.
He is doing public speaking!
He looked so relaxed and at ease with his hands in his pockets, sort of nonchalently walking back and forth in front of the crowd, calling on various students as they’d raise their hands and ask questions. The question-askers were rewarded by the teacher putting their names on post-its in order of the questions posed. At the “end of the speech,” Gavin got to pass around a jar of erasers to the students for guessing how many were in it. They went in order and as they made their guess, Mrs. M would place the sticky note on the corresponding number on the wall, somewhere between 0 and 100. After all the guesses were made, the class counted the erasers by 2’s until all had been counted.
I was so impressed at how many skills and learning moments she squeezed into this small time frame, not to mention how special the “Star Student” got to feel.
And I felt special when I’d catch Gavin looking at me, but not so anyone else would know. I could tell he was thinking: My Nonna loves me. I’m glad she’s here. Yes. I could tell that. He is growing up, but he is till my grandbebe!
I am so pleased with you. You did a great job. I was so proud to know you, so glad to say you’re my boy! You made me a Nonna, you know! I love you!
pictured: Gavin with Mrs. M; Gav speaking and running the classroom; I hung out with Gemma and Guini in the back of the room – and had to wear a bright green sticker identifying my legitimacy as his Nonna.