The Duck in the Gun. Second Week.

Week 10
This will be a bit of a mix up week but we will continue to read and discuss The Duck in the Gun and do a bit of summing up of the whole project. There are quite a few loose ends that need tying up. We will sew feathers onto the kakahu and I will get the kids to take some more photos so we can make a little slideshow of our Mahi Tahi-working together. We will play with our shadow puppets again and take some photos or video of them. I saw a lovely video a friend had made of her special needs children making ceramic cake trays and I felt inspired to make a video of a making experience. We probably won't make a movie of A Duck In a Gun but I would like to think about how to get children to express something about conflict. I have a few movies to upload but there is no rush. Next term. I think it will be nice to have a slow, gentle end to the term.

Blue kehua-Picasso?

Day One
We had a storm yesterday and our internet wasn't a happening thing. I sat on my warm red leather couch by the fire and sulked for awhile. Not about the internet just about blended families and how they don't blend and about pretty much any sad thought I could muster. They come so easily if you just let them. I read some chapters of a novel Stone Angel by a Canadian author. I read it years ago and I wanted to try reading it again like the author of the book Sue gave me did. When I read it last time I was so young and now I am older, I can understand the character like I didn't the first time. It is interesting to think about that. Growing old along side a book. I think a lot of older picture books are reprinted because people have children and they long for the familiar territory of their childhood and a part of that landscape is the stories and books they heard or read. It is interesting to think about because
you think a story is a story and a book is a book but it isn't. A story is something that is made from the words making a connection to a person and the meaning and experience they bring to that story to create something new altogether. A story you read when you are 23 years old will be a completely different story when you are 42 years old. Roimata's Cloak was a different story for me the day after I went to the misty funeral.

My walk to work

Day Two
Yesterday was today and today is today. I am making up sheets of paper to put in the clearfiles. We did one called "I am good at..."
The kids draw four pictures of different things they are good at at school. They usually draw scootering and monkey bars!! I was really happy to see a lot, maybe even all the kids, drew themselves reading their book to the class. Some of them also drew themselves being actors in the movies.
I didn't talk about our book with the kids today. We were in a rush to do assessment. I missed it. I realize how much it has contributed to our sense of purpose and togetherness as a group. I asked the kids if they thought that we had learnt something talking about picture books but I don't think I let them explain.
We have been talking about how to solve conflicts-as an offshoot to discussing what causes war. It has been helpful and I realize I don't do it enough. I think it is really vital to think about how we solve conflicts, as teachers.
Two of my girls are moving up to the next class next term. It is very sad. I wish there was a picture book about it but I couldn't find one so I wrote a story for them about it and they wrote me one back. Sometimes that is more powerful than talking.

I should draw a picture of what I am good at, at school. Four boxes only. What would I draw? The kids wrote an acrostic poem about me once. T-eddy soft I-am good at crossing the monkey bars A-m good at art

Some people count down to holidays. They say "Only three days." I never do that. I have a rule in my life that I am never allowed to count down to holidays or anything. I had a friend who died and I remember watching her wishing and grieving for more time, just a little more time. That's when I promised myself, kind of like a present to her. You have to think to yourself, three more days of school. What can we do? Yes lets have a party and shall we sew some feathers on and lets see about looking at all the photos of our term and we shall enjoy every moment and look back and say what a lovely time it's been and it really has. It's been such a lovely time. I think I'm having a Winnie the Pooh moment here.


Photocopy machine man, what big teeth you have.

Day Three
Today started with apple and date cake and coffee. Then on to some testing and assessment and a little more of that. The photocopy machine got changed today and it doesn't work now and I have about a million things to print off for the portfolios so I am trying to not get these violent images of myself hurting the nice photocopy machine man. He really is nice but too bad. He should make it go.
Last night I went with my son to a Victoria University information evening and there were lots of Doctors of this and that there. The funny thing is that they had technology trouble too and for all their expertise there was not much solving. I was struck by how white and middle class the crowd was. I fit in well but what a drag if you happened to be poor and another colour.
Anthony Browne is the new children's laureate in England. He thinks picture books are works of art and that we need to be careful not to imply that it is better to move on to novels and leave picture books behind altogether. I like his books. I have realized that I have all these links to great sites so I will put some of them here the next time I am not busy, which will be next term. Anthony Browne thinks we need to spend more time on creativity and less on getting ready for exams and tests. Art for arts sake. I like you Anthony.
I have been thinking about next term. I always have to think about it now while I am still able to think. I'm going to write something on this wiki on Fridays. If I do that then it means I will have some regular planned time to think back and reflect with a bit of distance and maybe get a bit of wisdom, or not.
Here I am in a conflict situation. Me and whoever made this stress for me so that I can't print. What is my reaction? If I was five I might hit or say how I feel to that person but I don't. I go and complain to someone else. I use humour to get over it. I dream of escaping and not dealing with it.

Day Four
It was really good yesterday when I was Mrs. Test test test, the reliever was reading A Duck In a Gun and I thought it was much better listening than reading. There isn't a book that we have read that I have liked less after many readings. Maybe I got lucky or maybe I made the right choices.
I wrote a letter to the local newspaper about my feelings around National Standards. They printed it with a great big headline and now I feel like crawling into a box and shutting the door.

Tomorrow I go to the little house in Collingwood. No phone, no internet, no road. Just a tea pot and a chair and some french doors, a stone path all grown over and tuis everywhere and the sea will keep me awake the first night until my body remembers.

It's funny after all this reflecting and writing, I can only say that I don't really know. Much.

Day Off