If you have been reading for long, you know our thoughts on public education. Some days I love it, some days...not so much.
Today Wyatt got off the bus in a very sad mood. We came in the house and had our usual lunch - pb&J with apple slices and milk.
I asked him about his day and he told me that he was sad. I could already tell, but thought I might get a little more info. out of him with a full belly...boys.
A bit more prodding revealed the source of his frown. His kindergarden class has been studying trees. And I guess he was supposed to be doing a drawing of the tree the class had adopted.
Apparently he wanted to cut out and glue a blue whale to the top of his tree. The teacher asked him if he saw a whale on the top of the tree outside. He answered no and so she asked him to take his whale off of his tree.
Now I understand what his teacher was trying to teach him. Because I am in their class on Fridays, I know that they are working on seasons and how the trees are loosing their leaves this time of year. Im sure he was supposed to be focusing on that aspect of the tree and not blue whales.
But part of me was sad. Sad that the creative part of him could not be encouraged a bit more. Surely, the tree can have red and orange leaves AND a blue whale.
And then I woke up out of my "formal school is the only place he can learn fog".
I feel like this little guy is a completely different little fellow than he was just a few short months ago. His imagination is expanding exponentially. The past several weeks has started telling amazing stories with tons of detail. He's asked for pens and markers and pencils with plain paper.
It really is my job to pick up where school leaves off.
Not a teacher who has 30 other little people to tend to. The teacher, who is wonderful by the way, who doesn't see how his little brain is exploding with colors and animals and stories. Sadly, she has not been tasked with encouraging his fleeting thoughts and silly stories. She is crazy busy just trying to teach the curriculum she has been given.
This might make her a bit sad too. I should ask her sometime.
So he and I broke out the clay and made a little village...with a strong wind that was so strong it blew the whale right up in the tree. And a turtle who liked to eat candy...and two volcanoes. And trees like they have in Africa.
Today I am reminded that I am the teacher. That if art and creativity is important to he and I then I just make time and tools to feed that amazing little brain of his. And maybe just maybe I'll dream a little bigger story for myself as well.
I've been thinking about dreaming a bigger story for myself ever since.
Once again, you are the REAL teacher and I am the student.