Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Wave of Creativity

Once in a lifetime, if you're lucky, you find a person that inspires you, and allows you, to be you. To grow into the person that you're destined to be. And loves you for it, no matter what it may be. Like a parent or grandparent, only no so "required" by blood. In almost every speech from a great person, they thank one of their teachers. It could have been in high school, in college, but for me, it was in 4th grade. Mrs. McKinney.
Emma probably doesn't fully realize it yet, but I think she's found her "one". As a teacher and parent, I have seen the ways that teachers - sometimes unrealized - let their students "slip through the cracks". You usually hear about the child who couldn't read in 3rd grade or the one who never learned addition, but what you don't normally hear about are the "gifted" children. It takes time to plan lessons for all stages of learners, and usually you have a handful of stages in a class at once. Usually teachers are quick to provide a little extra help with the ones trailing a little, but they forget about the ones moving too far ahead.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil

Ms. Allen has, from day one, provided Emma with extra or more challenging work, while at the same time giving her the "mainstream" work that makes her feel like she is still part of the class. Just a few extra spelling words or a different leveled book may seem like small things to do, but they mean the world to Emma & they mean the world to us.
Yesterday, Emma came home with a milk carton left over from lunch. I was a little horrified (germs!!) and a little curious how it got to be in my little girl's hand after school.

"Well, Ms. Allen let me keep it because I had an idea! I'm going to make a groundhog! I just had this idea at lunch!"

And there it was.
Ms Allen knew, as well as her own parents knew, that when Emma had an idea - it really was an idea. Not just a thought. And it would come to be.

And it did.

And it was the cutest groundhog I had ever seen, in my whole life.
Thank you, Ms. Allen, for believing in Emma, for taking the time to know her, and for encouraging her to be Emma, and no one else.
We love you!
{love Emma} <-- by Emma

The finishing touches to Puxy Phil
Here he is, with his pajama hat and shadow, saying "Six more weeks of winter!"
His shadow even has details! What a smart thinker to be able to "picture" how the shadow lays!
He was later given a nice set of blue pajamas, an alarm clock to get up to look for his shadow, and a toothbrush (plus a bedroom!)
This song was written just for him, by Emma :)
In the end, it was the cutest little groundhog EVER.
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