Friday, September 9, 2016

A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene

Today was not only Grandparents' Day, but it was also our one-monthiversary. School started one month ago today, and we celebrated by having a really great, awesome-packed day.

I will write about Grandparents' Day tomorrow, as I will need to download some pictures from my iPad before doing so.

For now, I want to acknowledge my good friend Mrs. Carrie McKneight, who came in as our guest-reader for the morning. She read a chapter from the middle of one of my favorite books, Because of Winn-Dixie. She had no idea what I was going to have her read, but she was really happy when she found out it was the work of one of her favorite authors, Kate diCamillo.

Mrs. McK is a former teacher, and she took up reading to my class and engaging them expertly. I always love watching her work with kids, because she has a very natural way of speaking with them. I have often been complimented on something I do--speaking to kids like they're adults. I'm sure I got at least some of this from Mrs. McK.

I first met her when I was student teaching way back when, and she was a frequent sub, and would sub in my classroom. Her daughter was in the classroom next door. In the spring, when I took over Mrs. Vahle's classroom while she had a baby (who became my student and is now a sophomore in high school!), Mrs. McK was my classroom aid, and we had the chance to spend much time commiserating on classroom management.

She then went back to school to get her teaching degree, and went on to teach at Towne Meadow for many years with some good friends of mine. Watching her engage with my students is always inspiring, because it shows me a slightly different angle from which to approach conversation that leads to learning.

I will never forget being on an evening trip with the choir downtown to Circle Center Mall years and years ago. The kids in the back of the bus were getting rowdy, and I was about to go back there to lay down some smack. Carrie said, "I've got this." She walked to the back of the bus and engaged them all in conversation. I just remember all of the kids were all facing her, right in the middle, and she had a big smile on her face, and the situation was completely diffused.

I was excited to have her come in as one of our first guest-readers, and I really hope she will come back in the future. I can always use help like hers. She can walk in, find who needs help, and takes it upon herself to take a small group and pull them out for the help they need.

Come back any time, Mrs. McKneight!

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