Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Star of the Week and Back to School Night October 10, 2014

Warning: A fawning post about Seamus ahead.

Last week, Seamus got off the bus with a big box.

Room 3's Star of the Week

Room 3’s Star of the Week

I didn’t know what it was, but the other parents at the bus stop made a big deal about it. He was so excited. They randomly pull a name from the hat for the Star of the Week. Gilbert was so jealous. When Seamus started putting things into this box, G flipped out. Seamus was a little nervous about it because he felt like he had to read his book to his classmates, but I think they just read the pictures.

We went to back to school night last night. Hilarious. The teachers presented a slide show of what the students’ day is like. There were pictures of them eating lunch (“They get really excited about lunch”), working at their centers, taking rest time (Seamus appeared to be asleep), using the outdoor classroom, reading with friends, doing Apple Math, and so much more. I began to understand much more of what Seamus is talking about. There was a picture of him being Teacher’s Helper and filling in for Weather Helper–“Seamus said, Wow! I’m really busy this week.” She did talk about Star of the Week to explain how each child is chosen. The current Star pulls a new name from the hat; however, there won’t be one next week because it’s a short week. She looked at us as if to apologize that he hadn’t gotten to pull someone new. I said, “Oh, we heard all about it.” She laughed, “Seamus does like to explain things.” I wonder if there’s a word to be coined: kidsplaining (like mansplaining only not sexist and way cuter).

Patrick and I laughed a lot, enjoyed the photos, and felt even better about how Seamus spends his day, despite the fact that he is exhausted by the end of every day. I really liked seeing how the room had changed from Meet the Teacher day. Now it is much more personalized to the group of students in the class. For instance, outside the room, there was a self-portrait of each of them. Because it was from their Spanish class, they also had glued family members to the bottom of the page. Seamus’s had “Mama, Papa, y yo” for his family. Hmm…he thinks he’s an only child. In the why we love to read corner, Seamus’s contribution was, “It makes you think of things you’ve never known before.” I love that he feels that way about reading–not that it can help you learn or you can take books places but that reading makes you think. That’s all I’m trying to do at work everyday, use reading to make them think.

There was the star of the week wall, and we were excited to see Seamus’s pictures all displayed along with his poem.

Star of the Week

Star of the Week

It’s a little blurry, but there are pictures of his family members (not Porter, though) and him as a baby. The poem notes that his favorite food is oranges, color red, and center reading. I was pretty surprised to see that his favorite color is red, because he’s been in a black is my favorite color mood lately. At home, he agonized over which center was his favorite. He had decided that it was Math and Science center, but at the last minute, he changed to the Reading center.

They didn’t talk about discipline, and I noticed that all the kids had their choice cards in their packets. Seamus had told us that kids had to pull cards for various things. He told me that he doesn’t want to pull a card all year. He did manage to never go to “yellow” in his preschool class, but I figure, you just can’t be perfectly behaved 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 36 weeks a year.

It was great. I’m going on a field trip with his class next Friday, so I foresee more Seamus coming your way.


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