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Lazyboy 2010…

August 30, 2010

The lady of the early 15th century would run the household in her husband’s absence,

and check his nearby manors…

She also had to entertain visitors to the castle,

greeting them at the gate and being there to say farewell…

She was in charge of the castle kitchens and the menu,

although she would not normally cook the food herself…

In her spare time she would enjoy hunting,

dancing,

as well as playing chess,

and other board games…

Knights and nobles often married an heiress for her land…

In spite of this inauspicious start,

couples often grew close…

— in Eyewitness Castle written by Christopher Gravett

When I started teaching I had the great fortune of working at a school with one of THE gurus in education…

She is an expert on literacy and helped me with my first class of four and five year olds,

but the most important thing she put in my hot little hands was a photocopy of a program called Structures…

This program gave me the necessary permission I needed to make building a critical feature of my Kindergarten classroom…

And for the entirety of my teaching career,

time to play and time to build held equal weight with learning focused on literacy and numeracy,

because I could see the benefits of cross-training even before Nike made the shoes for it…

And if I could do it all again,

hockey would be in the top five of my list of most important things,

to be non-doing…

I left all of the materials I had collected over the years behind in my classroom,

for the young new teacher who was offered the temporary contract,

when I resigned on the Friday before Labour Day weekend…

I thought she would make good use of them,

but I heard through the grapevine that she put them all out in the primary pod,

because they wouldn’t be needed in her classroom…

I was disappointed,

but understood…

I knew how strong I had to persist in making play be seen as a valued learning activity in my own eyes,

and it took a number of years for me to find the words to articulate this value to parents,

and with my colleagues…

The first group of children I worked with were born in 1990…

I would love to find out what they end up doing,

and if their early primary year of building will influence them in some way…

I wonder if some of them look back through their Structures journal and remember when…

All it will take to find out is a call out on Facebook,

and the data will come storming in,

when the time comes…

This evening,

while we were making pizza,

Starshine made the observation that her friend Sunshine’s father does not even have his own shop to himself,

for making the things he wants to make,

and she felt sorry for that…

She said,

When he wants to build something he has to move everyone’s bicycles out of the way first,

to get at his tools…

I’ve always had my own bedroom,

I can’t imagine what it’s like not to have your own space,

to just be,

and create…

I told her that before Little Gem came along her Papa had the biggest room in the house,

for reading,

and listening to music…

And how I always felt bad for leaving my ongoing projects out in the open,

in a house with very few cupboards,

or closets…

That I’d always wanted my own space to write my report cards,

and make what I wanted,

in peace…

Starshine said,

Well now you have the whole house…

Papa has never been a DIY guy,

or a musician,

so a leather chair is all he really needs…

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