Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crayon Therapy

Speaking of crayons, I learned a valuable lesson this summer.  When we were on vacation, our four year old granddaughter was the only child with a lot of adults.  So her mom brought plenty of toys to help occupy / settle her.  One day she was coloring and she asked her mom and me to color with her.  We got down to business and began coloring the princesses' dresses.  After awhile I looked up to see O. dancing around playing and my daughter and I were madly coloring away!

I had a teacher who kept files full of pictures to color when they were done with their work.  She was onto something with that.  When the kids became jumpy and out of sorts, she would hand out pictures for the kids to color.  It was amazing to see how they quieted down and calmed.  It wasn't a daily ritual, and the practice was a very non-confrontational way of reining the kids back in.  It was especially successful during testing days when students needed to be respectful of others when they completed their tests.

Today's kids are so over stimulated by their world that a little bit of coloring is an inexpensive therapy!!
 Prang vs Crayola and the First Days of School

It's that time of year:  the first days of school.  This is the third "first days of school" that I have missed because of retirement.  As I view the various ads for school supplies and clothing that the well-prepared student needs to begin a successful school year, I think of the crayons.

There was and is nothing like a new box of crayons on the first day of school to resurrect that hope for a great school year.  When we were kids, we didn't need all of the "stuff" today's kids need, and the big thrill was getting that box of new crayons.  In my day, they were Prang Brand- the artists choice.  And believe me, they were good crayons that made good color.  Today's crayons are of varying quality.  None can match the quality of those Prangs!

There are smells that are strong associations for the new school year.  Everything shines; even the summer dust motes smell good when they shift around from the motion of little feet meeting a waxed, clean floor.

There's a crispness in the air of the impending fall, and there is a crispness in the clothing.  Uniforms and shoes crackle with their newness.  Teachers, tired from their busy summers, are fresh with new ideas and plans, administrators are already looking to getting the year rolling with new ideas, whether it be a breakfast program, newly painted walls, a better enrollment, new teachers beginning their careers, or a "new" idea for instruction that shows promise.

Sadly, what becomes of this electric excitement, crispness, enthusiasm, and hope in June???