Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Acknowledging writing by 'Raising the Roof.' Click to view gallery.

In this season of gratitude, I'd like to say that I am thankful for Grandparents and Special Friends Day here at USM.  Being able to witness this special occasion as both a parent and a teacher has provided me with a unique perspective.

Since the weekend, both of my Preprimary sons had been counting the hours until Grandparents and Special Friends Day.  "How many more days until Wednesday, Dad?  Is Grandparents Day tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?  When are Grandma and Grandpa coming to school?  Are they coming tomorrow?"  These questions, among others, were asked more times than I was able to count.  With barely contained anticipation, my PKer was out of bed and dressed before I finished showering this morning - an unusual occurrence at our house.  And, of course, the drive in this morning was peppered with excited concerns and questions from both boys regarding the logistics of the day.  While dropping them off at their classrooms, I became a little misty realizing how fortunate we were to have a close and healthy family. After an activity-filled morning, my oldest summed up the success of Grandparents and Special Friends Day,  "That was the best school day of my life!"

As a teacher, Grandparents and Special Friends Day provides me with an unmatched opportunity - intergenerational learning.  In composition class, students and their guests wrote and shared Random Autobiographies.  From writing about simple ideas like favorite colors and numbers, to more complex ones such as life experiences and personal symbols, it was a wonderful way for everyone involved to learn a little more about themselves and the people with whom they were sharing the day.  Literature classes explored storytelling.  Participants were asked to identify significant, historical events that they believed changed their lives.  Once identified, students and adults shared the stories of those singular moments.  Similar ideas surfaced in each group.  The lunar landing, JFK's assassination, the birth of the iPad, 9/11, the Civil Rights Movement, and the fall of the Berlin Wall were just a few of the many topics explored throughout the morning.  It was fascinating to listen to the stories that have shaped our lives and our world.

The Grandparents and Special Friends Day Committee deserves special thanks.  By organizing this amazing event, they have provided the school community with an experience that is priceless.  A day like today makes me realize just how fortunate my family is to be a part of the USM family.

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