Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Esveidy has been here for two weeks.
I have promised myself I am going to really treasure this time.
Soak it up.
Not miss one single minute.
I think I pretty much have.

We have played in the water at the Botanic Gardens.
And splashed in the fountains at a neighborhood shopping area.
Been to the Denver Zoo.
And the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Read books and books and books.
Blown lots of bubbles on the porch.

Today my book club had a birthday party for her.
It's really not her birthday until November, but we had fun.
We ate hot dogs and hamburgers.
She opened presents.
Books and an alphabet puzzle and stacking rings that talk.
Laura filled a wading pool on the back porch
and Esveidy poured and splashed and laughed
for over an hour.
So much fun.
I can't stand to think that in six more days she will be back in Phoenix
and I won't see her again for months.

And because I am a teacher
and I can never not think about teaching
I have been thinking all week about
Cambourne's conditions for learning.
I have been struck
as I have watched Esveidy
by her level of engagement.
The first week she got here, s
he was working on climbing stairs standing up.
We must have done the stairs a hundred times.
Up and down.
Up and down.
Up and down.
And then it was blowing bubbles.
And again.
And again.
Yesterday, she worked on the buckling the straps in the stroller.
She did it again. And again. And again.
Buckle. Ask for help to unbuckle. Buckle again.
Even at the zoo, where there was so much to see.
Buckle and buckle and buckle.
Today it was stepping in and out of the wading pool
In and out.
In and out.
In and out.
Repeating until she figured it out.
I gave some support.
Offered a finger to hang on to when she needed a step up,
showed her how to hold the bubble wand
so that the bubbles would come out.
Clapped and cheered when she accomplished her task.
But mostly I just watched
as she learned.

I think of my friend Lori Conrad, who always says,
"Learning is nothing more than success remembered."

And I wonder why school has to be so different.


Diane Anderson said...

Yes, why? Why not more patience for all the repeated tries? Why not time for that? Why not the right support? Why not the cheering for the small steps toward success?
What a sweet time for grandmothering! Glad You can cherish all those little moments!

Anonymous said...

Grandmother extraordinaire!

What a lovely week you and Esveidy are sharing. I am a first time grandmother- my grandson is off to kindergarten at the end of August. I share your "insider's" view of the education system. My daughter has done a good job of finding a school where he can grow and be happy. I pray for a fun-loving experienced teacher with patience.

Meanwhile Esveidy has had her successes and can enjoy the pleasure that brings. That feeling alone can give her drive and motivation as she grows older.

Julieanne said...

You and I were on a similar wavelength this Tuesday. Such a joy to watch the natural state of a learner. They just know how to do it don't they. I think so often we, as teachers just get in their way.

elsie said...

That final quote is so right! What a time you've had with this little one! I'm leaving for CA in a few days to babysit my 18 month granddaughter for 12 days (some of those days will be only the two of us, Yikes!). I will be watching the joy of exploration and learning too. Can't wait!

Ramona said...

Ohhh - I love friend Lori's quote: "Learning is nothing more than success remembered." And the claps and cheers and simply watching while she learned. So glad you've savored every moment with your sweet granddaughter. I'm off to meet my grandson this week!

Linda B said...

So glad to hear from you, Carol, all about this little sweetie Esveidy & her grandma watching! How wonderful that you've had this time! I wish school could be like that too. And sometimes it is.

Tabatha said...

Sounds like you are really making the most of your time! Esveidy seems to be eating up the grandmother love. Your book club is great, and so is that quote you shared :-)

Elisabeth Ellington said...

Yes! The longer I teach, the less I do in my classroom--and the more my students learn and grow--and the more that learning is something they take with them outside of class. The longer my son is in school, the more I think that it has no relation whatsoever to learning. How do we so easily forget what we know about how people learn?