I was sitting in the hallway of my school trying to get myself organized for the day. I posted my first Slice of Life entry and was wondering how I was going to write every day in the month of March. That’s when our art teacher came and sat down beside me. “I have a story to tell you,” she said. At first, I was thinking, “I have no time for stories. I wish I didn’t sit in the hallway. I have so much work to do!” But here I was, and I knew the art teacher always has such funny stories, so I took a deep breath and made myself present. I turned to the eager art teacher and listened.
Yesterday was the worst day! Everything I had planned had to be changed. The classes I thought were cancelled, actually came without warning. I was so disorganized and distracted that I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day. Then the 2nd grade class came into the room at the end of the day. They all started to paint, but then someone was singing in a very high voice “la… la… la… LA… la…” over and over again. I didn’t know who was singing, and I thought that high pitch was going to send me over the edge. However, I didn’t want to stop the singing because it seemed to me that someone was using the tune to help them work. Later on, I realized it was Madison. She came up to me after class and said that she had written a song while she painted and proceeded to sing it to me. It was quite a long song and had the same cadence that she had been singing. I am so glad that I hadn’t stop her singing process. What started as irritation became a joyful occasion.
We laughed together for a moment, and I vowed to find Madison a have her sing her song to me. This small moment made it again so clear to me how important it is to honor student’s imagination, to be present to these moments which nurture student growth. Later that day, Madison sang her song high and sweet and clear. I held back tears. She handed me a colorful picture and on the back was part of her song.
The simple breeze flies through my hair,
The wind is soft like a wind,
Itself the flowers are like a beautiful bloom,
The river flows carrying water.
The trees will swing through the wind.
La… La… La… La… La…
I must add that Madison is an EAL student, and it is even more important to me that we celebrate her use of English. I wonder what this song would sound like in Mandarin. I think I will ask her tomorrow.