I was invited again to read to a class of 2nd graders out in Kapolei. Despite the fact that I have taught for 20+ years, I was strangely a little nervous about being back in the teaching saddle again.
However, once I sat on the little chair and looked out at the beautiful faces, it came back.
I brought a paintbrush and a painting I did many years ago of the plantation town I lived in. That plantation town was burned to the ground, plowed over and has some stores and a spanking new subdivision over it now. However, looking at the painting reminds me of that peaceful place. I asked the children what they would paint if they had a paintbrush. They had wonderful ideas from their family, their home, a dolphin, their bike to their school. That was my introduction to Ma Lien and the Magic Brush. I was happy to see their rapt attention.
The next story I chose for them was Bembelman's Bakery. I brought some donut holes and asked them what they would put in their donuts or bread if they could do the baking. One of the first things they said was sugar. Then their imaginations took hold and they offered "apples, bananas, orange juice, chocolates, cinnamon, etc."
When I was finished reading the story, I had to smile when a child asked, "When you read that he smacked his lips, did he hit his mouth like this?"
I showed him what it meant to smack your lips and explained that it meant he thought the bread was yummy. Then we all acted out how we'd show that we loved what we were eating. I asked what sound they'd make if they were given something delicious.
A child raised her hand and said, "Thank you."
I loved it!
Kristin is their teacher and the daughter of my dear childhood friend. She has done an excellent job with her class.
After the Read-a-Loud, we were treated to some delicious refreshments in the school library and given these huge umbrellas as thank you gifts.
I'm looking at the orchid lei they gave us and thinking, "What a wonderful feeling." Thank you, Kristin!