After vacation, I started working a second job – I teach in the after school program two days a week. It’s fun and a little exhausting, but we are on such a tight budget, that it’s worth it. The kids are wiggly and don’t like being first-time listeners. (My Maple Wood peeps would be so proud to know that we are practicing first-time listening and every time they are first-time-listeners, they earn a tally. One-hundred tallies equals computer games for the whole 45 minutes!)
So all that leads me to my story. Yesterday the students were fully engaged in being first-time listeners when the program coordinator came in to tell me that there was a Moose on the playground. A very large Moose. On the playground. At the school. In downtown Fairbanks. Not the outskirts of town. Dead-center downtown. This meant that the buses would be picking up kiddos at the front of the building instead of the back.
Now imagine, New Englanders, if a moose was on the playground. Imagine the reaction of the kids, and the teachers, and the administrators. I did, and I was reminded of the time there was a chicken on the playground at one of my old schools and no one could leave the building and animal control was called…
Now let me tell you how my 1st and 2nd graders reacted. And please remember that they were fully engaged in good listening and heard everything the program coordinator said to me.
They kept working. They didn’t say anything. No excitement, no running to the window to see if they could see. No fear. Nothing. They just kept working. Well, except for one little guy who is a little quirky – he just kept reminding me to take the bus kids to the front of the building because of the moose. And that was it. Dismissal went smoothly. The kids weren’t wound up. A teacher stood at the back door so forgetful kiddos wouldn’t accidentally run out. That was it. After an hour, the moose was on her way. And that, folks, is what happens when a Moose wanders into downtown in Fairbanks, Alaska. People say, “Eh.” and move around it.