Saturday, December 28, 2013

I.E.P. for dolls

Miss C received two new dolls over Christmas and has been very busy incorporating them into her already established classroom.  It's hard to get new students mid-year, especially when you've set the classroom up in the bathroom.  There are just so many interruptions, like showers.  Each time I want to take one, I find a new note taped to the door, "DO NOT ENTER EVER thank you."
And then when I want to empty my hamper, there are 14 Barbies sitting on top and the teacher is so pissed that I'm interrupting again.  How are these kids ever going to learn anything? 

Today, I cleared myself out of the bathroom for an hour and after she'd been up there stomping and banging (I think she uses corporal punishment), she left the classroom and asked me to help her move a large easel from the basement to the bathroom. 
"I have to work with Ayla during recess.  She's behind and needs to catch up."

I lifted the easel up the stairs, saying, "Sounds like Ayla needs some help."  As I'm noticing all the space in the basement that could serve as a perfect classroom.  But what do I know.

Miss C clarified, "It's not that Ayla has special needs.  She doesn't.  She's just very stubborn.  Not extremely stubborn, but very stubborn."

"Ah," I said.  "Very stubborn."  Grunting as I maneuvered the easel through the door, placing it---as directed---in front of the toilet. 

"Perfect.  Now," she said, turning toward Ayla, who as I studied her face, did seem to have a bit of an obstinate look to her. 
But I tarried too long.  Miss C took my arm, gently but with purpose, and led me out of the classroom. 

"Being very stubborn is not a special need," she  repeated, "But.  It can make learning hard.  Thank you for the easel." 
The door clicked closed and the dedicated teacher returned to her pupils with varied needs. 
I took leave to the janitorial closet, presuming I'd be called in again when one of them puked on the floor or a desk needed fixing. 

It takes a village to teach one doll.  And some extra help for those stubborn ones. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Laps, Not Apps

Every year, the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood gives an award for The Worst Toy of the Year.
Often the award is tongue-in-cheek, pointing out the insane marketing or terrible ideas some companies will use to sell a product that stretches the meaning of the word toy.

This year, they gave the award, then had to update it, because of this product:
the iPad bouncy seat.

If this "toy" strikes you as just one stroke past ridiculous, there is a great letter you can sign that takes 10 seconds.  It is a petition to let the creators of this product know that it's not educational for infants to be plugged so early, as backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Here's the link to sign.  Sometimes a quick response from consumers can have a powerful impact.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I have a confession to make: I saw Frozen and I loved it. 

I have another confession to make: I saw WADJDA and loved it too.

I have another confession to make:  (I don't know what it is but everything sounds more interesting by adding that preamble).

Two completely different films, but with great fodder for discussion afterwards.

C and I saw Frozen with Nana and C's friend.  And it led to some interesting chats about "what is an act of true love?"  The script has expanded!  That's all I'm gonn say. 

And Wadjda.  Just lovely.  Here's a trailer.