Village School.’Miss Read’

The original publication cover art.

12. Snows and Skates

“It snowed steadily throughout the night and I woke next morning to see a cold pallid light reflected on the ceiling from the white world outside. It was deathly quiet everywhere. Nothing moved and no birds sang. The school garden, the playground, the neighboring fields and distant majesty of the downs were clothed in deep snow; and although no flakes were falling in the early morning light, the sullen grey sky gave promise of more to come.”

Today, I am spending my hours indoors, but for a brief walk in the cold, winter wind. In the midst of taking an online course – which glues me to the laptop, unfortunately – I experienced a sense of fun. I am plodding through a lesson plan designed around a picture book I love. Unfortunately, the dissection of every bit of it in order to “teach it,” has all but ruined the joy of it for me. There was one moment, mind you, ONE moment, over the last few weeks, where I actually felt some joy. Writing. I wrote my own narrative as an example for my students. It flowed. I felt alive.

Do my students feel like they too, are plodding along? In my desire to become a “good teacher,” have I become other than who I am – which is someone who “plans” every activity and direction of learning down to the “fun” in their pedagogy? It is something to which I will give serious thought when this course is completed. I will refer to “Miss Read”, my fictional mentor, on the correct course of action, as she is ever so sensible, yet sensitive to her young charges.

Read, Miss. Village School, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955. Print.

Some of the republished paperbacks are available at discount through Daedalus Books & Music should you wish to try one. I encourage you to do just this!
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