The opportunity arrived just yesterday when I spent the afternoon with a group of twenty academic coaches and read aloud The Geraniums on the Windowsill Just Died, But Teacher, You Went Right On by Albert Cullum. Through the lens of childhood, we discover all over again the way we felt; the way we were; and how, sometimes, we lost our way miles from the heart of the matter. Though I can't re-print the pages, these few need to be shared:
"Teacher, let me swim in a puddle, let me race a cloud in the sky, let me build a house without walls. But most of all, let me laugh at nothing things. " -page 16
"On the mornings you tell us about the night before, you're like one of us. The dress you bought, or a movie you saw, or a strange sound you heard. You're a good storyteller, teacher, honest! And that's when I never have to be excused." -page 20
"I have a messy desk, I have milk money that rolls, I have a lazy pencil, a book that won't open, a mouth that whispers. I have a zipper that doesn't want to, homework that won't work, and a hand that throws crayons. I have a shirt that's out, shoelaces that won't tie. And sometimes I wet my pants---but never on purpose." page 22
However, sprinkled within are those teachers who are our raindrops of hope. Those individuals who continue the work that they do and truly listen to the voices of children; who allow the children to lead the way; and side by side, splash through the puddles amidst this ever-changing landscape.
And finally, in the words of Albert Cullum who said it so eloquently those many years ago.....
"Teacher, come on outside! I'll race you to the seesaw! No, you won't fall off! I'll show you how! Don't be afraid, teacher. Grab my hand and follow me. You can learn all over again....."-page 62 ...until next time-Teach