Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Odds & Sods

It has been a busy weekend for me. We have a new family member as of yesterday at around 2pm. We drove out to Surrey (yes, Surrey. Seems like here in town we get our cats fixed more often or something because there was not a kitten close by to be found!) to pick up a kitten for our daughter. Yes, you heard me right! A kitten! Meet Simon...

He weighs next to nothing and I think was the runt of his litter as he was by far the smallest kitten there. Having Simon join our family was a very long journey which involved having a so called friend of my daughter's giving away the kitten that had been promised to her for the past 6 weeks (with friends like that who needs enemies, right?), a lot of tears and then hours of kijiji hunting to find a likely replacement candidate. When we first got a look at this little feller, we were sold! Luckily he is as sweet in temperament as he is cute. Ostensibly he belongs to our teenage daughter but we all know that I will end up doing some of the care. But I'm okay with that so long as he keeps curling up on me and purring like a lawnmower!!!!

As to school, the year is winding down. Only 19 more teaching days and still so much to get done. Yikes! Last week we had a couple of pop quizzes in math, worked on our plant projects and went on a fieldtrip to the Children's Festival that was a lot of fun (but exhausting...)

In class we have been working on our plant study. Each of the students has diligently done observations of their bean seeds on the windows (see last post). Only...not much has happened.  A couple have sprouted but most have stayed the same. I am not sure what is up with it. I have done this exact same project on the exact same windows at the exact same time of year for 4 years and it always, always works. All I can think is that it hasn't been warm enough - we did have pretty crap weather in May - and so they just never got started. Anywho, as any scientist knows, not all experiments turn out how we expect. That is part of the fun of science! So, tomorrow we are going to start again. This time we will try putting the bean seeds in a small cup filled with soil. Fingers crossed that it works this time!

In Health & Career Education we have been working on Self Esteem projects. The students have had to identify 20 character traits or skills that they like about themselves. I have learned a lot about the kids through this project. Here are a few of the ones that I hung up in the hall.

There have been students who quickly whipped down a list of 20 things and others who struggled and struggled to come up with things. One because he didn't want to seem like he was bragging - how sweet is that? But others really could not think of anything that they like about themselves. Or, at least, couldn't seem to find the words. I hate that there are 7 and 8 year olds who already see their faults more easily than their skills and talents. It makes my heart hurt. I look at each of them and see so much to like (way more than 20 things per kid! And yes...that does include the ones that drive me crazy on a consistent basis with their behaviour choices!) and, yet, their focus is on what they don't do good enough.

When you are a kid you are supposed to believe that you can leap tall buildings in a single bound, conquer the world and be anything, anything at all, that you want to be. At least, when you are as little as the kids in my class are. My daughter didn't start to really find fault until she hit those terrible pre-teen years. And while it was difficult to get through, it was at least developmentally normal (if you can really call what our society does to young girls and their self image normal. Ooh! Don't get me started. That is a whole nother post.) It just feels so wrong that a child in grade 1 or 2 can easily tell me all of their faults but not one strength. Even when I pointed out some of the amazing talents and skills that I see in this child, they still didn't believe me. That is just wrong. Break my heart wrong.

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