We are so very fortunate to have a wonderful student teacher in our classroom this year. Miss Dube is a student at St. Michael's College, and she will be with us until the end of November. Over the next few months, Miss Dube will slowly take on the responsibilities of the classroom until the week before Thanksgiving when she has her solo teaching week. I will still be at UMS all day, every day, but the solo week is a crucial part of the student teaching experience. I have full confidence that Miss Dube is a natural and will take over my job with ease.
This week, Miss Dube has led the class in the greeting at Morning Meeting and read aloud after lunch. She is also in charge of one math station during our Math Workshop. Students loved Miss Dube's read aloud on Monday of Kevin Henkes' book Chrysanthemum. In this book, a girl named Chrysanthemum loves her name until she gets to school and students make fun of it. Miss Dube connected the unkind actions of others to a tissue paper heart. Every time a character said or did something unkind, students gave a thumbs down and someone shared what they noticed. Miss Dube crinkled the heart for each time something unkind happened. At the end, the heart was very wrinkled even after Miss Dube tried to smooth it out. The wrinkled heart represents how mean words affect us. We can say sorry, but it's important to think before we speak, because hurtful words are often remembered. When we make mistakes and hurt others' feelings, we can try to patch things up with apologies or doing kind deeds. The students each put a band-aid on the heart to represent that we need to try make reparations with people when we "hurt their hearts" with our words. Such an important lesson! It's always OK to say we're sorry, but it's best to think carefully about what we say before we say it.