On My Own

The title really should read “On THEIR Own,” but that’s not a Broadway song title (as far as I know).

Second grade is a hoot.  So were prek, k and first grade, all in their own ways.  But second graders are just THAT more capable, independent and self-motivated.  However, what took place in our class this past week went beyond self-motivated – into the realm of “I can’t believe they’re doing this!” and “It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!”

It started with a book giveaway.

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Based on the cover, it would not have been my first choice.  But my class learned that judge-a-book-by-its-cover lesson well.

Almost every year, I thin out my vast collection of books.  This year, each of my 18 students left with four books, of varying lengths and certainly of varying desirabilities.  The above, I would have thought, would have fallen into the least desirable category.   But it was chosen,  presumably put into a backpack and taken home.

Except it wasn’t.

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The following week I see a large group of my students working on SOMETHING during their free moments.  I overheard the word PLAY and DIRECTOR and realized they were actually putting something together.  Upon investigation, I found out that this little unwanted book was at the nucleus of all of this hubbub.  All on their own, I mean ALL on their own, they decided to perform the play from the book.   ALL ON THEIR OWN, they chose directors, assigned parts, made costumes and props, staged and rehearsed.  There were a very few quarrels about who does what, and I stepped in only once, just to confirm that the directors were the ones in charge.  Beyond that, it was ALL THEM.

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This week they were ready to perform!  They asked to go into the hallway to rehearse and as I sat in the doorway moderating them (and the remainder of the class inside the room!), I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.  Did I mention it was ALL ON THEIR OWN?

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After two rehearsals, they were ready to perform.  And perform they did.

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The paper on the young lady’s head was colored gray – to represent her old lady’s hair.  She came complete with eyeglasses taped (ouch!) to her face and a sassy older-woman-from-the-South accent.

A colleague was passing by while they were rehearsing in the hallway and asked what was going on.  I filled her in, and my exact words were, “It’s actually the cutest thing ever!”  But so much more than cute.

Bravo, kids, bravo.  #proudteacher

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