Friday, April 30, 2021

Teacher Tom: Our Raccoon Teacher

Teacher Tom: Our Raccoon Teacher
Our Raccoon Teacher

We were in the midst of circle time when a raccoon began climbing a tree behind me. I didn't see it, of course, but I knew it was there, or rather that something was there, because the eyes of every child were following it.

Maybe I knew that raccoons climbed trees before this moment, but wether I previously knew or not, I did now. We all did. It made its way up the trunk, apparently oblivious to the two dozen humans watching from below.

I wonder what we had been talking about or singing or reading before the raccoon began its assent. Whatever it was it was far less important, far less significant, far less educational than this. The evidence was in all those eyes, wide, curious, unable to look away.

I didn't try to recall them to our previous project, whatever it was. For one thing, I knew it would have been futile. Have you ever tried to get children, or pretty much anyone for that matter, to pay attention to anything else when there is a bee in the room? A giant house spider crawling up the wall? The rumbling approach of a thunder storm? 

Of course, we dropped whatever we were doing to attend, fully, to that raccoon, an emissary of Mother Nature, our first CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Our Raccoon Teacher