Is That Your Chair? #sol17
September 26, 2017
We are in the midst of assessment season and my mornings have been filled with benchmark assessment with my team. It’s a hectic time, but gives me that so-needed dipstick into the reading temperature of the whole school.
In the midst of a busy Monday, a confident bean pole of a third grade plopped down in the chair next to me to read a couple of one-minute reading passages. He looked over to the desk chair I wheeled down from the book room and said, What are you doing with Mr. Jodice’s (our revered music teacher) chair? I looked around, startled, not understanding what he said at first. This is my chair from the literacy center, I said.
The smarty pants gives me a strong stare…Does Mr. Jodice know you have his chair? With rational words I calmly explain that all of the classrooms have these chairs and Mr. Jodice’s chair was still in his room for him to sail around in. Given the look I got in return, I don’t think this intelligent third grader believed me.
I told this story a few times yesterday, even to Mr. Jodice, to smiles and knowing nods about the literal thinking of this young third grader. On my drive home, I began to think about just that third grade thinking.
All of us, especially those under four feet tall with a limited (for the time being) world view, have certain expectations and KNOWLEDGE that we know for sure. My young friend knew for sure that his beloved Mr. Jodice had a chair identical to mine, so it must be his. Following this logic along, this third grader (and his friends) have other things that they know for sure. Things that would startle me or any teacher who might have a different way of thinking. Ideas about how stories go, ideas about themselves as learners, ideas about … teachers. Some of those ideas, we should help them change…over time. We can’t help them change these ideas if we don’t listen to them first.
Thank goodness Mr. Jodice’s chair will be right there in the music room next time my new friend has music. Some things are the rocks on which we build others. Maybe that third grader will think Mr. Jodice graciously loaned me his chair. Maybe he’ll visit the literacy center and spin in the chair himself. Maybe he’ll notice the chair his teacher sits in at her desk.
Hopefully, what I learned is to perspective take a little better because of that little conversation on a Monday.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for inspiring so many of us to write our slices of life weekly. Thank you to my PLN of amazing writers for encouraging me on Tuesdays and every other day of the week. Enjoy so many more slices here.