Sunday, March 4, 2012

A GREat Meltdown - Slice of Life Challenge

The Glacier Ridge Meltdown is an annual event that the PTO of my elementary school sponsors.  Today was the day for it, and it was such a happy day.

I worked at the teacher time raffle station, and got to see all the children who were eagerly buying tickets in hopes that they would get to spend one-on-one time with their teacher.  So much excitement about getting to make necklaces, have a teacher cook breakfast for them, play dodgeball with six of their friends, attend a sleepover at the school with a group of teachers, go to a restaurant with their teacher, and much, much more.  Fun stuff!

There was even more fun and happiness swirling all around me:
  • An incredibly enthusiastic DJ playing great songs like Cotton Eye Joe, the Electric Slide, YMCA, and Thriller, to name a few.  Not only did he play the songs, he was down on the floor surrounded by kids dancing with him.  Fun!
  • I watched face after face pass me by, and each one looked so interesting after having visited the face painting station.  They all seemed to be happy to have their animals or butterflies painted on their entire faces.
  • Entire families attending the event together: grandparents, younger siblings in strollers, moms, dads, older siblings that used to attend Glacier Ridge.  More fun.
  • Some of those older siblings were former students of mine, and I couldn't believe how many of those middle schoolers were still willing to give me a hug.  It made me incredibly happy to see their faces, catch up on their lives, and get their hugs.
  • Great food smells wafting through the commons area.  I'm such a sucker for fresh popped popcorn.  The smell of baked goods being won or purchased wasn't shabby, either.
  • Current students running by to say hi, all sweaty from jumping on the inflatables in the gym or from too much dancing.  Either way, their glistening, perspiration-soaked bodies were indications of how much energy they were putting into having fun today.
When I go back to school on Monday, I want to remember my students with the animal faces, the students who were dancing until they practically dropped, the students sweaty from exertions of their own choice, the students who loved hanging out with their families.  These are the facets of my students to which I am not always privy.  Our Meltdown event today was both a fun and happy event for them, and a gentle reminder for me to focus on the whole child; not just the child I see daily in language arts.

Let's hear it for more happiness and fun!

8 comments:

  1. We used to have a carnival that was a lot like you described. I loved seeing the kids exactly like you described. However we exchanged it with a "fun walk" as our new fundraiser. Much easier to plan and have but I miss seeing the kids.

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  2. Karen,
    That party doesn't seem like a meltdown, it seems like a "fire-up" event. I think it is always refreshing to see students outside of school. It's good to have a chance to talk with them and see what other things interest them. I admired the time you spent at school participating in the event. I know it is progress report time and you just finished conferences. How lucky your school is to have such a dedicated educator!

    Cathy

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  3. I've been reading your awesome posts for the past week and I have to say, well done! Great advice and observations we can all learn from.

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  4. Your enthusiasm is contagious, Karen! It sounds like it was a wonderful event for the whole GRE family! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. We have to treasure happy moments with our school community. Those are what will guide all the other stuff that comes our way.

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  6. You are so right. It's especially good to see students who might be very private in school 'outside' of school. And it's great for them to see you too, to know you are a person who enjoys the fun and camaraderie just as much as they do. Your event that opens its arms to former students and families sounds like fun. We have an elementary school across a park from us and we walk over to see what's happening when they have their carnival. Much fun.

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  7. Your post brought back so many memories of fun things that I did at school when I was a tot.

    Those events require a lot of effort and planning, but you get paid back tenfold when there is that overflowing positive energy. I know I will go back to work, tomorrow, thinking about who my students are when they are not discussing mental illnesses or struggling with abstract Math functions.

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  8. Karen-
    I totally agree with you. Kids look so, so different outside of school. And it's so fun to see them in different contexts!

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