Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Day 161, Monday, June 02, 2008

This morning I witnessed a wonderful proof of our right to be called a “national school of character”. When Victoria was performing her brave solo dance in front of the entire school, I occasionally looked around at the kids in the audience, especially the 8th and 9th graders, and I saw nothing but attentiveness and respect in their demeanor. There wasn’t a trace of silliness, ridicule, insensitivity, or even inattention. All the students seemed to be seriously riveted on Victoria as she performed her original routine. Somehow, we parents and teachers, in our partnership, have created a group of children who know how to be respectful and appreciative. It was, indeed, an impressive display of strength of character.


During the silent reading period (about 8 minutes) at the start of a class today, I noticed one girl was not reading, but just staring off with an utterly relaxed look on her face. I caught her eye and gestured down to her book, whereupon she snapped to attention and started reading again, but later I wondered about that. Is it really so bad for a student to use a few minutes to just relax – to slow down, unwind, and loosen up in the midst of a typically frenzied school day? This girl was “settling” herself, perhaps similar to the way a pond does after its water has been stirred by something. She needed a moment to let her thoughts subside, to let some room open up for peace to have its place in her young life again. Is that really so bad?

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