Thursday, December 6, 2012
Today as we read and talked about Jerry Spinelli's classic book Crash we were thinking about the changes the lead character has gone through lately. Everyone agreed that his grandfather suffering a stroke had a huge impact on him and was essential in his transformation into a more caring person. "It's like his grandfather's stroke woke him up" said Niko. "Yeah" said Samantha "He was living a nightmare". "He needed to open his eyes to what the world is really like" added Amelia. "He didn't even know he was dreaming" said Chase. Of course all this happened when we had about a minute before we needed to leave for Art class. I promised we would continue to discussion and I praised the insights that the students were sharing. "This is perfect, it's beautiful poetry!" I said. A part of my mind was delighted in hearing fourth graders explain Buddhism so expertly without knowing that's what they were doing. I resisted the brief urge to shoot off on a tangent into the life of Siddhartha, the "Awakened One", it was enough that students had come up with startlingly beautiful observations. Two things I've learned this year are it takes time for a conversation to develop, you have to be patient and sometimes (or even most times) toss a schedule out the window, and when something magical happens you have to celebrate it, you have to name it, you have to stop the presses and make sure everyone knows what happened. Otherwise it can just pass by like so many magical things in the world around us and we lose an opportunity to learn how great we can be.