Sometimes I am amazed by the maturity with which my students handle disappointment.
Sometimes I wonder where their strength and poise comes from...and it makes me sad to think that they might have been trained through years of suffering disappointments the likes of which I was blessed not to face until adulthood.
Sometimes my students amaze me. Sometimes they act like 3 years olds and annoy the you-know-what out of me. But today, they were phenomenal. We were scheduled to have field day, a pirate theme, and some of them were so into it that they came in costume (something I totally encourage). We got to wear normal clothes instead of our stuffy uniforms (yes, that's right, my teacher clothes bind me and hinder my ability to be as bubbly and vivacious as I would be if I felt like myself, so I feel their pain). We had the most fantastic activities planned.
But then, mother nature happened. It rained, and rained, and continued to rain some more. Some evil and omenous weather person even predicted thunder storms as if it were just another day in the hood...not the most important day ever...the day that we stretched our wings, shed the shackles of the classroom, and displayed the awesome amount of team spirit that has been instilled in us over the year. (Epic, right?)
When my students walked in to school, one of them looked up at me and said dejectedly, "Field Day is canceled." It wasn't a question. I nodded, though it was a highly unnecessary action. Then, the students set about unpacking their backpacks, checking in the homework, and getting ready for the day. I thought, "Hmmm...I probably shouldn't let this go. Maybe I should say something about it." But nobody really looked like they needed anything said. I waited and let them learn about the rescheduled date on the announcements. One of them asked me what day of the week that would be. I hyped it up by adding that they would now get to wear regular clothes TWICE and that our last week of school would include a day off, a half day, a one hour day, AND field day. How lucky they were! They looked at me encouraged and with TOTAL trust that it would happen eventually, and that they could bide their time until then.
I didn't even offer consolation prizes (movies instead of "real work", indoor games and activities, etc.). They didn't ask. I just took them to Art class with a new sense of pride and admiration. These are not the whiny babies of years past, not even the less than mature students who I started the year with. These are the big kids, the kings and queens of our school. It is their last chance to be at the top for a while and they are wearing their crowns with grace and elegance today.