Friday, April 29, 2011


Some days, (ok, most days), my kids just make me laugh.

With the excitement of the new playground, our kids are discovering all sorts of new joys of childhood.  Many have never been on monkey bars before, and in our new set up, hanging from your hands is the COOL thing to do.  You can hang on moving monkey bars, hang from circular handles, or hang (and jump onto and off of) ziplines as you play.

If you look closely, you can see all the different kinds of blister-creators on our playground. :)
The funny thing is, our students' hands weren't quite ready for this new adventure.

On Wednesday, I had two students come up to me very concerned.  They had blisters on their hands from the playground!  After reassuring them that this was normal, that they were going to live, and that a band-aid wouldn't help, (and listening to their woes, of course), they happily skipped off to play again.  On the monkey bars.

Several minutes later, they came back.  With rips.

As a gymnast growing up, I had to laugh.  Rips (and bruises) were always just a part of life.  But for these kids, this marks a brand new adventure.  "It stings!"  "Ouch!"  "What do I do?!"  "Can I have a plaster (band-aid)?!"  I sent them to wash their hands - again; gave them an alcohol swab with a warning that it would hurt; and let them all try plasters to prove it just won't work.

(Sometimes, kids insist on learning things the hard way.)

Later, one of my kids came up to me and said, "Look, Miss Lucas!  What a rip-off!"  I had to think for a minute before realizing she was referring to her newly acquired sore on her hand... and not something she had just bought from the local duka!

We've had a talk in class about the crazy things that happen on the new playground.  We've even brainstormed and decided that sometimes, it's a good idea to play for a little while on the monkey bars, then wait till the next day to play again.  It's called creating callouses, I explained, and allows your hands to develop tough skin so you can play for longer in the future.

It's a work in progress. And I'm once again reminded that my role as a teacher does not just include teaching math and writing.  Instead, I can add counselor, health-care provider, encourager, something-in-my-eye removal specialist, science expert wanna-be, professional hugger, "second mom", and many, many more titles to my resume!  All in a day's work :)

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