Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween and Unique Alternatives for Unique Kids

Shocking, I know!  An actual post!  It has been a bit since I last posted.   Oh, I have been busy, and I have a long list of reasons (mmmm...excuses:) for not posting.  Honestly, school was a bit much this last month.  I just needed to take a break from school related things once I got home.  All is good, just the typical busy stuff that we all go through with school.

Today seemed like the perfect day to get back at it and share something special with all of you.
photo by a close family friend, Jeremy Long
This beautiful girl is one of my nieces (well actually, all six of them are smart, strong, and beautiful).   Teghan is in the 7th grade.  Her life is busy and full of the things that she loves.  She spent the summer playing goalie for her club water polo team and being a Junior State Lifeguard.  She loves designing her own outfits and creating masterpieces with paint and canvas.  She volunteers at a dog rescue and raises money for them with a passion.  She is fearless.  Absolutely fearless, whether in the water, on the volleyball court, or defending her classmates from bullies twice her size and sending them running with their tails between their legs.  Since her daddy (my youngest brother) was in the Air Force, she has attended six schools and has made about eight moves (honestly, I have lost track).

Oh, and Teghan is dyslexic.  She doesn't care if anyone knows it.  Reading is a struggle.  Spelling is a struggle that often sends her into hysterical giggles.  Yet, she goes to school everyday, willing to try again.  School can be painful and stressful for her.  Yet, she goes to school everyday, willing to try again.  Teachers can sometimes be dismissive and demonstrate an appalling lack of understanding.  Yet, she goes to school everyday, willing to try again.  She is amazing.

This year, Teghan has a wonderful Language Arts teacher who pushes her to do unique and creative "book reports" rather than paper and pencil.
Since it is near Halloween, she had to use a pumpkin.  The only rule was "no carving" because the teacher (wisely) did not want the room smelling.  Teghan had just finished a American Girl book about saving the tidal pools.  She took blue painter's tape, made squares, cut them out in the shape of starfish, and secured them to the pumpkin.  Then she took an embossing gun and melted blue crayons all over the pumpkin.
After the melted crayon had cooled, she pulled off the starfish shapes.  Then she outlined them with a silver sharpie.  Later, she painted them lightly with silver glitter.  Amazing, right?
The same week, she made this beauty.  She got a styrofoam head at Michael's, painted it and went pipe cleaner crazy.  She was just in the Halloween mood.  Amazing, right?  She sent me a picture and I immediately thought of Medusa!  What a great idea for Ancient Greece!

She is amazing.  Many of my freebies and products are made with her in mind.  We all have amazing kids like Teghan (okay, not as beautiful and smart, because that would be impossible).  I want to be remembered as a teacher who "got" them, and encouraged them to find their place of strength.  I do not want to be remembered as the teacher who stressed them out and made them cry.  Not all of our kids will shine in school.  Some of them will shine once they are out of the confines of school.  As important as school is, it is still just part of the picture.  The longer I teach, the more I understand that truth.
This is Teghan's trial run for her Halloween costume.   Did I mention that she is creative and fierce? Don't forget the Teghans in your class!  Happy Halloween!

2 comments:

  1. I love that creativity! And I LOVE that she doesn't let her dyslexia frustrate her to the point of not trying anymore. So many kids could learn a ton from her!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a beautiful post! I am inspired by Teghan and her perseverance. She is lucky to have an aunt like you who recognizes all of her amazing talents! :)

    Glad to know I'm not the only one with a crazy life lately, but it's good to hear about what's going on in your world. :)

    Jennifer
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    ReplyDelete