I don’t know why my students were so mellow today. I was missing three students but they weren’t “those” students. But of course the dynamics of play were different because the couplings of students were impacted by key players being absent. It isn’t that I would want a mellow day everyday but it was just so pleasant.
Our caterpillars had entered their cocoons so the day began with excitement and a buzz. Breakfast was as chatty as usual and students were finding every excuse to be out of their chairs and across the classroom to visit another table or get something off the cart. I was worried that our morning shower was going to mean a recess in the playshed but after wiping the slides of rainwater, we were able to be out in the open. A few students begged to play hide-and-seek which is hilarious for me because there really isn’t a good place to be hidden. The kids go under the slide or behind an 8 inch wide post or lie down next to the picnic tables but of course I can see them or their legs. I make a big deal about counting to ten and stomping my feet when I say “ready or not, here I come” over and over again as I hunt them down one by one, each of them collapsing into giggles when I do.
Back in the classroom, one student played cards, another few wrote stories, and some immediately put on dress up clothes for their usual scenarios. I pulled out cardboard and glue and showed a few students how to decoupage left over quilt squares from my mom. The hour meandered quietly with no eruptions or disputes and it was truly amazing to be in a mellow but busy atmosphere.
It would be nice to bottle such days – like the poem about the watermelon pickle – and open it every so often. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a mellow day everyday but I know that isn’t what is best to teach my little ones what they need to learn. A little stress, a little angst – as long as I’m not the one generating or causing it – provides other important lessons.