Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beauty is... a boom box and a slab of cardboard.

The Reflections contest is a time of year for teachers to reflect on how awful the Reflections assembly is. However, today was an exception, at least for me.

The theme for this year's Reflections contest is: "Beauty is..." Could you be more vague? How about just calling the theme: "Stuff" or "Things".

ANYWAY, a well intentioned PTA lady came into my class today, asking me to discuss the theme with my kids, which I agreed to do. She also asked me to brainstorm with the group some things they could do for the contest that fit the theme. She told me to invite the person with best (completely arbitrary) idea to share with the entire school at the assembly.

Our class discussion went well. I received the expected responses. Beauty is... Draw a picture of the mountains, take a picture of my baby sister, paint a picture of a flower, etc.

Now, I have a girl in my class that I shall refer to as "Amanda". She is tiny, of Chinese decent and one of the kookiest, adorable spark-plugs I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. She is waving her arm like a spastic octopus and she clearly has an idea what "Beauty is...". So I called on her... "Amanda, what do you think beauty is?

Amanda holds her arms out to her sides and then does a wave with them - like she is in a really bad Kid & Play movie. She then looks right at me and says, "Beauty is... berrr-AKE-dancin'!"

I kid you not. That is exactly what she did and said. At that moment, in my mind I said to myself, "We have winner!"

I told Amanda that she would be sharing at the assembly.

The assembly went as expected - a lot of hollering and wooing in kid-like, mob fashion. I did my best to tolerate the mayhem and attempted to visit my happy place. (An adult-sized McDonald's Playland)

Finally, the time for the chosen students to share arrived. The order of sharing went from 6th to 1st grade. Amanda was to be last.

As we sat through the stale, dry responses from grades 2-6, I eagerly awaited Amanda's turn at stardom. Alas, the PTA President asked "What do you think beauty is?" and handed her the mike.

Amanda looked out at the audience and hesitantly said, "break... dancing". The PTA President asked, "What was that?" Amanda, more confident this time replied, "BREAKDANCING!" The PTA President laughed and told her that was a great idea.

Now, this is the best part - Amanda hands the PTA President the microphone and then begins to walk back to sit down. She stops - mid stride - turns around, and MOONWALKS ACROSS THE STAGE!

I kid you not. She really did this. In front of the entire school! One of the coolest things I have ever seen a first grader do.

She looked at me and smiled and I gave her two thumbs up. It's all I could think of to do. That, and laugh.

Sometimes teaching first grade is so cool.


Charis said...

that is the greatest! I hope her mother got a note home about how amazing she was! mom's need that encouragement you know.

Tyler and Lyndsay said...

Okay, can you have visitors to your first grade class? I secretly want to be "Amanda's" new best friend. Any 1st grader that can MOONWALK is by far the coolest kid in the class. WOW. I'm speechless.

Traci said...

I love this story. I love it so much, I made my friend at work read it after I read it. So, now you have to come into the library and talk to us about it.

sacdaddy said...

The ladies in Ogden loved it too.

lindsey v said...

That is so cute. My kids would never dare to moon walk in front of the whole school. I would love to have seen that. Breakdancing is beautiful.

That reminds me, I have been meaning to post a video of my son doing "the robot".

brermomo said...

Great story! Thanks.

Tammy said...

I agree with Charis and I hope you sent a note home to mom so she can share in the wonderful moment!