Thursday, February 12, 2009


Today in class I wrote the date, and beside it I wrote "Grandma Sharon's Birthday." Of course I explained to the kids about Grandma Sharon. I explained that my grandfather passed away a few years back, and they have the same birthday, so I imagine it must be a bitter-sweet day for her.

We had a half-day today, and didn't have our normal Related Arts at 8:30, which allowed me more time in morning meeting with the kids. I ended up telling them stories about Grandma. Stories about her getting angry at my grandpa in the early 80's and buying herself a brand new blue cadillac.... only to order plates that say to this day, "NOT LEWS." (My grandpa's name was Lew.) I told them about how she thought it was hysterical how much I loved chicken drumsticks as a kid, and so one year for Easter she filled my basket with chicken legs, all with bows tied around them. And I told them about how she put a mouse trap in the candy dish so Mindy would get a surprise when she reached in without asking.

My kids were mesmerized. They laughed and laughed, and begged for more. We ended up calling my grandma on the phone, and singing to her "happy birthday." I hope she liked it. The kids also told her all the stories I'd shared with them. She laughed.

But what was so cool was the way that conversation inspired another conversation about legacy. The kids began to recall all sorts of memories from their family, and were very anxious to jot them down in their writing notebook so they could recall the stories of their past. We talked about the different ways people share their family legacy and they were so excited.

This is why I just love my job. The personal and the professional have always been a clouded line for me as I weave myself into my classroom and connect with my kids and they to me.

I guess that is why I am having such a hard time turning in my letter resignation. Scott and I decided it was obvious that with twins I stay home, and I am totally excited about this... don't get me wrong. But so much of who I am is wrapped around what I love doing for a job. It is such a part of my identity, and even though I wouldn't change anything about staying at home, it will surely be hard for me.

Amazing days with kids like today just remind me of what I will have waiting for me when I do return to teaching.


Meesh Hays said...

Tugs, indeed... But those same heartstrings will be pulled so much when your perfect boy and girl arrive that you won't be able to feel the teaching strings for a while.

And then, when the time comes again, your teacher strings will tug - no, yank - you right back where you belong.

I love that my firstborne had you, and hate that my baby won't get to experience moments like the one you had today with you! and I am glad the decision is hard - that means it was REALLY a biggie!

Anne said...

I completely understand your feelings. I too felt the exact same way as I turned in my letter at the end of the 07-08 school year. However, I totally love staying home with Madeline, and while there are days that I miss the classroom, most days I don't even think about it. It's just fun to be home with her and witness all her silliness. Maybe we can have some playdates when the babies arrive! :)
Anne Stewart

Jenny said...

I understand your feelings about this because it's part of who you are, but you are opening a new and exciting chapter this year for yourself. Next year will be very busy, but great.

edluv said...

that's awesome malisa. good work making education exciting, personal and relevant to life.

Kerri Roberts said...

I heard the rumors but way. In fact, I think my response was, "You actually think Malisa Johnson could stay at home and not analyze data to determine her lessons, and then discuss her strategies and ideas about authentic teaching with the public thereby inspiring others to do the same?"
Then I remembered: momhood passes with each year and there are only timely moments for which our kids need us 100%. So...I'm happy for you!
In the meantime I'll be happy to pass my data to you and let you plan some things out for me

The Thompson Family said...

I just stopped by and I loved this story. What a great way to inspire your students to want to write about their own family. I really love sharing personal stories with my students too, and although I still teach, I feel that going part-time has really limited this. Of course, I wouldn't trade my time at home for the world!

Congrats on the boy and girl. Oh and that picture is hilarious! the only one I don't recognize is the girl to the right of you.