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Gonna Take on the World Some Day

[Editor’s note: Miss Brave is the pseudonym for a first-year elementary school writing teacher.]

On the fabled Day Before a Vacation, teachers all over the country try to sneak fun activities past the watchful eye of the administration because they know their students will be off the wall otherwise.

My plan for the kindergarteners was to have them author a “Thanksgiving Book,” for which they’d trace their hand on the cover and transform it into a turkey. But, all the kindergarten teachers got together and decided to show their kids a movie.

Have you ever taken a group of 12:1:1 self-contained kindergarteners and put them in a room with 100 other kindergarteners and expected them to sit still and focus on the finer plot points of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving? These are kids whose verbal repertoire consists of (a) screaming or (b) echolalia. Warning, warning: MELTDOWNS WILL OCCUR.

That’s how I ended up with one very heavy, squirming 5-year-old in my lap, while I rubbed his back and whispered things like, “Shhh, nice sitting” and “Look, Snoopy’s making toast!” At one point, when the music started up in the movie, my little friend started patting his hands on his lap and then clapping them together: pat pat CLAP, pat pat CLAP. Hmm, I thought. That rhythm seems strangely familiar somehow. And just as it was clicking in my head, he opened his mouth and belted out:

“WE WILL, WE WILL ROCK YOU!”

Ohhhh yeah, my students will rock you, all right.

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