Today I read, "Courage" in one of my third grade classrooms. It was a lesson to help re-launch the reader's notebook. The teacher had asked me to come in b/c her students were having trouble in using the reader's notebook. I thought Courage would be a great book to spark discussion and help accomplish our goal with the Reader's Notebook. The students depth and understanding was far more than what I expected to come out of this lesson & my only regret was that I did not have my flip camera with me to share with others their beautiful & heartfelt comments! After reading the book I modeled by standing up and telling them that last week I had courage when I took my beloved dog to the vet to put her to sleep even though I was so sad and did not want to say good-bye to her. There was immediate reaction from their faces and you could tell they felt my pain and could identify with me about losing my pet. I then remained standing and asked them was their anyone else that wanted to stand up and share a time when they had courage. I was thrilled when a young girl immediately stood up and said, " courage is going to your Grandmother's funeral when you are scared!" No sooner had she stood up when a young boy in the class stood up and said, "Courage is...." & he stops and I look at him, b/c you can tell that what he wants to say is very hard for him. I tell him, it is ok, take your time, he begins again, "Courage is going on after you don't have your parents anymore!" A lump immediately forms in my throat and the room is instantly silent. The students all begin now having courage, after all, if he can share something so deep and personal, the courage to share that in this room with us, then they will have the courage to stand up and share their moments of courage, whether it was about conquering a fear or about facing a loss of a pet or a loved one! The room just kept popcorning with kids standing up and sharing, I just sat back in awe! Way more than I expected, much more in depth and understanding, compassion and warmth! When planning this lesson, I thought they would talk about riding a rollercoaster, learning to ride a two wheeler etc. NEVER did I expect this! However, lesson learned for me, never underestimate students depth and understanding. Something my students teach me each and every single day is about courage, how can I not learn to be courageous I have such great & courageous teachers like them!
I am living my crazy life to the fullest married to the UPS man & my best friend for 21 yrs. I am a mom of two wonderful kids. My son, a volunteer firefighter and a daugther a Junior in High School. Still trying to figure out how to be a domestic goddess. Working as a Kindergarten teacher, a former literacy coach, and currently an adjunct professor at a local university. My life has been amazingly crazy. Our son is our miracle after being critically injured in an accident last summer. We are so grateful that he is alive and doing so well. We are loving life on beautiful Long Island, NY and appreciating each and every moment!