Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SLICE #16- So much depends on a purple koosh ball

We are in a holding pattern.
Twenty seventh and eighth graders.
Sixteen boys, four girls.
Two teachers- one old lady. Me.
Another hip and with it second year social studies teacher.
Early thirties.
Basketball coach.
All materials have been distributed.
And now we are holding.

I am surprised when my colleague
pulls a purple koosh ball from this pocket
And lobs it at a kid across the room
The kid catches it easily.
Throws it back.
And a wild game ensues.
For about five minutes the purple koosh ball
flies back and forth,
back and forth,
back and forth.
Kid to kid to kid.
Mostly the boys.
But every once in a while
a girl joins in too.
There is much laughter.

I wonder if I should intervene
I do not think the purple koosh ball
was included in the holding pattern plans
The game seems a little rowdy
for the classroom
and on such a solemn occasion
and yet the kids are having
sooooo much fun
how can I interrupt such raw joy.

And then it is time for
our solemn event to begin
the koosh ball journeys
across the room one last time
and then disappears
into my colleague's pocket.

I expect that it will be hard
to get the kids to settle down
and get serious

But amazingly
they are quiet and focused
within seconds.
And for the next ninety minutes
they barely look up

So much depends
on a purple koosh ball
and making room for joy
during a solemn occasion.


wakeupandwrite said...

I love the little video you created in my mind. And say thank you to that teacher with the koosh ball - I forget to play with kids and this was a great reminder that it really is important.

Karen said...

If I have one regret about my classroom experience, looking back at it with a coach's lens, as well as armed with research around children and play, I would have made more opportunity for play. Thanks for sharing this moment.

elsie said...

There are all different ways to approach a task, play wins this round. We can watch and learn from newish teachers. Love the so much depends . . .

Mary Lee said...

Solemn occasion...your euphemisms for testing crack me up!