A perfect day for the park

On Monday we went to my favorite coffee shop in the world and got treats (cinnamon twists for the kids, coffee and scones for the grownups) and then went to a cute neighborhood park to play all morning.  The weather was gorgeous, and the morning could not have gone more smoothly.

(We did have one hiccup right away — when J. arrived, she was dressed in a fancy blue party dress, for our end of the year party.  Her mom doesn’t speak English, but it was heartbreakingly clear that she had understood the word “party” and dressed her daughter beautifully for such an event.  Of course, it was my fault for calling this our “end of the year party” since we were going to be at a park getting dirty.  Odd kind of party, I know.  Anyway, we had a change of clothes for her to borrow, so J. got to play in sweats and a tshirt, and then we changed her back into a princess before she went home.)

We go to the coffee shop and the park every year at the end of the year, and we usually have a ton of parents with us.  This year we had only a handful.

K.’s parents came, and I got to chat with dad about her.  She is very bright and strong-willed, and has become quite fluent in English this year.  She also fell in love with books, and spends a lot of time with her little shadow, F., “reading” her our favorite books.  K. learned all the letters and sounds this year, and is actually starting to read a little.  I chatted with dad about next year, when she will be getting all her reading instruction in Spanish with the bilingual ed teachers.  I wasn’t sure what to tell him — she knows the English alphabet and sounds, and is about to read in English, and now she’s going to start over in Spanish?  Will she get confused?  Who knows?  I hope there’s a way for her to work on both simultaneously.  Clearly, I need more information.  Now that I am getting more and more Spanish-speaking students, I need to know what happens next.

D’s mom and R.’s mom — who would seem to have nothing in common other than being single mothers — talked animatedly to each other all morning.  Z.’s mom came and thanked me for being a good teacher, and I raved about her delightful and smart daughter.

The sun shone, the children went down the slides, they shared their sand toys with other kids, and Jan found a caterpillar, which was soooo exciting.  O. came over to get me.  He pointed, but didn’t have the words, so he took my hand and brought me over to see.  Jan had carefully placed the caterpillar in a tree, just out of reach, and about 5 kids were oohing and aahing.

I love my job.  Sunshine, caterpillars, children.  What could be better?

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3 thoughts on “A perfect day for the park

  1. What a cute story and a perfect end of the year party. It reminded me of a similar event where one of our sixth graders showed up in a speedo to go to Sandy Lake Park. He was new to the school and didn’t realize that our end of the year party consisted of softball games and carnival rides. The kids were never allowed to swim. He was allowed to return home and change. It had never occurred to any of us that he would think we were going to the lake. We should have remembered he was new and not familiar with our sixth grade end of the year tradition.

  2. Hi, just wanted to share a thought even if so long has passed since you posted this. I’m bilingual, Spanish being my first language. At my school, they taught us to read in both languages more or less at the same time. Although my mom who used to teach there says they taugh us first to read in the foreing language and then in Spanish. The day was divided so that in the moring you received instruction in one language, and in the afternoon in the other one, and it wasn’t confusing for us at all. Just thought to share it and ease some of your worries.

    Love your blog btw.

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