Saturday, October 17, 2009
Miss Outdoors ... Sort of
OK...learned something about myself lately. People who know me know that I am not "Miss Outdoors". I don't dislike the outdoors - I love to hike, and picnic (not on the ground, of course), and walk the dog. I just don't feel the need to sleep outside, commune with wildlife, or pick up "stuff"-other than rocks. I love the quietness, but not the scary animal noises (that I do enjoy after I am safe back at home). I like beds, showers, bathrooms, and electricity. Don't fault me. I am sure there are others like me.
But back to what I learned. The other evening my husband called me from the car in front of our house to tell me there was an owl in the tree. My first thought, as embarrassing as this is to admit, was, "Keep the dog inside so she doesn't get eaten!". Luckily, I didn't say this out loud so that my kids could laugh at me - we have a doberman - don't know of any owls eating dobermans. My second thought, thank goodness, was to get the camera. I still left my boys and dog inside until I deemed it safe. Oh brother! I actually walked right up to the tree, stood underneath and snapped some photos while the owl looked at me with curiosity, annoyance, disdain? AND I lived to tell about it. So, since it was safe and all, I went and got my teenage boys, who didn't show ANY fear at all. I was impressed and proud and embarrassed - I think you know why, but they don't. Neat moment. Moment over. Learned owls do not attack photographers!
But here is what I learned about myself the next morning: I learned am not above doing ANYTHING for my students, my little friends! I actually started to drive away from my house the next morning, stopped, got out and dug in the leaves looking for owl pellets. GROSS! I found two. So crown me "Miss Outdoors!" I couldn't wait to get to school to show my students the owl throw up that I found in my yard! And I just set up a new document camera so the whole class could get HUGE details on screen. WOW! It was cool. We had to skip spelling to talk about poop vs. throw up. The kids thought this was hilarious, but learned something (I hope). The assistant superintendent that was walking through my room didn't show any signs of thinking this was hilarious. I went on with the lesson anyway. They thought that was funny, too.
Then I learned or relearned or just remembered something...school needs to be fun! The fun and spontaneity has been sucked out of our classrooms. I just read Paul Bogush's blog: Having a Ball! and it inspired me to do more digging in the leaves, to remember to laugh with my little friends and gross them out sometimes, too. If we can't enjoy our jobs, how can our students enjoy their learning.
So I learned that I can be a little outdoorsy and laugh about it as I'm digging for owl throw-up, excuse me, owl pellets. I was reminded that laughter in the classroom aides learning, creates bonds, and is just fun.