Showing posts with label kids and class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids and class. Show all posts

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy (Much-Belated) 100th Day of School!!!

(This has sat in my "to-post" box for awhile now... I think we're on the 120th day of school now!  But with all the great pictures, I couldn't pass up posting about this fabulous, exciting, exhaustingly-insane day!  Happy reading!)

Yes, I know for most Americans, last Thursday (February 14) was all about Valentine’s Day.  But here in Musoma, we focused on something a bit different.

Happy 100th day of school!

Up till now, I've always hung out and been surrounded with teachers.  So the concept of 100th day was absolutely expected and normal.  But here in Musoma, that's not the case.  The fun thing about living and working with so many non-teachers here in Musoma is that everyone I’ve mentioned it to has said, “What?  You actually celebrate that?”

And the answer is yes, yes we do.  In kindergarten and first grade classes across the United States (I don't know about the rest of the world...), teachers choose this day to culminate a study in place value, digits, tally marks, stickers on a chart, and every other imaginable way of representing the number of days of school we’ve completed throughout the year.  And besides, in the snowy depths of winter, it’s a good time of have something to celebrate, right?

Our day came a bit later than the usual here in Musoma, partly because the snow forgot to come ;P, or maybe it was because the schedule looks a wee bit different here.  It was also an interesting count… up? to the 100th day as half my class only started coming after Christmas.  So every morning, during morning routine, our discussion went a bit like this. 

“What’s the date today?”
“What’s the weather like?”
“How many days of school have we had SINCE ALEX, our lone kindergartner, began school in AUGUST?”
                                                                         And so went our routine.


Besides recognizing for the first time that the hundredth day of school is a big deal, the second question I’ve been asked a lot recently is, “What exactly do you DO on the 100th Day of School Celebration?”

Well, we count to 100.  A lot.  A lot a lot.  Till the teacher’s head hurts.
Our To-Do Charts for the day looked a bit like this :)

We played games, like “Roll to 100” and “Tally 100” with dice and a hundreds chart.
 
 

We estimated, then tested, how many times we could … jump up and down, sit down and stand up, say the ABCs, blink, and several other random activities in 100 seconds.  (Did I mention counting to 100 until the teacher's head hurts?)
Clapping!
Standing Up and Sitting Down
We made super-cool 100 glasses, with hearts (had to do SOMETHING to recognize the 14th, right?)
My kindergarten, first, and second graders

We wrote 100 words, then read them... made stacks of 100 unifix cubes... imagined ourselves at 100 years old... and even made a few valentines during break times.
So THIS is what 100 looks like?  Good to know!! :)

And then, we all went home and fell asleep.  Or at least I did.  The kids were pretty exhausted from all that jumping around, standing-up and sitting-down, and doing 100 of everything too, so maybe this time it wasn't just me. :)

Happy 100th Day!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Office

Recently, I’ve discovered a whole new side of the world.  I’m not sure how I missed it, but it’s there, and for most people, it’s obvious.  It’s the norm.

It’s the Office.

Ok, not the TV show.  Though I finally actually saw the show for the first time upon arrival in Musoma.  (Yes, I know I'm behind the times.) Instead, I mean the REAL office.  That place where people go to work every day, week after week, and do things that up till now were a complete and utter mystery to me.

The thing is, I’ve suddenly been plunged into a location and life where I’m seeing bits of office life for the first time.  My roommate works at an office.  I go there to print things, pick up mail, meet with people, and all sorts of other oddities.  Since we don’t have our own school copy machine, I go there to make copies for my students. 

And the thing I’m realizing is… the office. is a whole lot different than the classroom. in every. single. way.

One day, I went to the office to get my computer hooked up to the server (so I can print materials).  Then I sat down at an empty desk and checked my email.  I might have sat there for half an hour in dead quiet, catching up on things and responding to important messages people had sent in the past week. 

And… it was during the day.  Daylight hours. 

And… I wasn’t sitting at home in the dark on my bed.  Dead tired from the day.

It was a surreal experience, to say the least.

Obviously, I know people do a lot of things besides check their email and respond to messages for their jobs.  But the fact that it’s possible during the work day to attend to such things, without rushing to do so in 2.5 minutes before the students arrive, or without a sandwich in hand for lunch and a student by your side that you’re tutoring in math at the same time… just blows my mind.

And then there’s the aspect of communication.  It’s occurred to me recently that in an office setting, people talk to each other.  With real, adult conversations.  About things that aren’t necessarily always, 100%, related to work.  Meaning there are moments that are down times, where things aren’t completely crazy, when the world isn’t in constant motion and you’re not teaching and monitoring and helping kids and encouraging a student with their success and hoping that another student who is sliding out of his chair might hear the praise and do the same.  Thinking about what you’re teaching next, how to best keep their attention, make it fun and make it stick.  Recognizing when one of 10 children are losing interest and finding a way on the fly to get them back. 

You mean, this isn’t normal? 

I’m so confused.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE teaching.  (most days anyway!)  And I love the discussions I have with kids. They make me laugh, and sometimes, cry.  I get to pour into them about the world and about God and get to help mold their characters and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

It's just fun to explore this unique new world around me for the first time in my life!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Can We Keep It???

I’m sure that in homes around the world, this is an anticipated yet dreaded question of every parent, ever.  Somehow, as a teacher, I just didn’t see it coming.  But when I moved to Tanzania, all bets were off.  Give kids a playground with wildlife galore, and you just don’t know what they’re going to find!

Here are a few of the “Can we keep its?” I’ve had over the past 3 years.
Aren't I just so CUTE??  Well, yes, and whiny... 
But look, I promise I'll stay right here in this basket.  For 2 whole seconds... :)
This was Sam.  He lived in a box.  In my classroom.  Until the kids who found him forgot him on a hot muggy Dar Friday afternoon when they left for the weekend.  Not knowing what else to do, I brought him (hypothetical "him" of course) home and let him live in my shower for the weekend.  When he started biting (he was old and cross) we promptly let him go - we had just finished a set of rabies shots and didn't feel like starting over!
a puppy (sorry, no picture)

5 kittens (again, no picture... they were hidden away.  Mama escaped from the horde of primary HOPAC kiddos who rampaged her hiding spot during break time with excited shouting...)

hedgehog #2 (quickly released before picture-taking (and forgetfulness) could commence, for it's own good… see above)

geckos were never a question – they are just permanent, well-welcomed residents of the classroom, and require no work other than avoiding their leftover droppings from the night before.
George.  Seeing as we couldn't get him to eat, we were glad when he decided to take a break from the classroom.  We had a lot of fun with him though, and even got to see him molt!  And he was my kind of pet... replace his little leafy branch in a plastic bottle every day and we were done!
chameleon #2 (went home with a kiddo)

And last but not least... Hedgie! 
Seeing the kids all sitting quietly like this during break? 
I knew SOMETHING was up!

I’ve been a bit more willing to take on pets here in Musoma (read: for a week at MOST!) because:
1) the pets the kids find generally aren’t going to make me stuffed up.
2) they are VERY low maintenance.
3) I can just as easily release them and they’ll be fine.
4) they are HEDGEHOGS and CHAMELEONS - if they run away, oh well!?
5) these are all pets that the families here already have, so I have experienced people to turn to for help and directions – and weekend housesitters.
6) Did I mention low maintenance, and hypoallergenic?

Then again, after we let Hedgie go on Tuesday, I decided it might just be time for a pet break at school - and home.  Looking forward to a bit less craziness in the weeks to come... (one can always hope, right?!)

And because I'm a teacher, this is the song that goes through my head every time I hear, "Please, Miss Crystal, can we keep it!?"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Building Fun

This week in Social Studies we were studying houses and ways of living around the world.  In a place where most kids have mostly only visited their “home countries” on furlough but know a lot about their “home” culture through their parents, I was curious to see what would happen.   So after reading about houses throughout history in America and houses around the world, I gave the kids card stock, toilet paper rolls, glue, and scissors, and said, “Make a house!”  Here’s what they came up with.


Evidently, the activity was a success! :)

I told them they couldn’t take these home quite yet as I had another plan.  So today I moved all their “houses" into an open area, gave them paper and crayons, and told them to make a neighborhood.  I was curious to see what came out, since I had to explain the concept of a neighborhood to most of them in the first place.  But as I watched, I was amused, amazed, and thoroughly enjoyed some of the statements that came out of mouths during the process!

  • The largest house became the church.  “The biggest building has to be the church.  Because God is the biggest so the church has to be that way too.  And in the top of my church there’s a little ground where the pastor can go to pray after church.” (-J)
  • “We don’t want anyone to be late for church!  The church is in the middle of the neighborhood because – if the church was on the side, not every road could go to the church.  And then not everyone could GO to church.  And THAT would be a disaster!” (-L)
  • The smallest house (belonging to the lone boy in the class) promptly became a spaceship.  Because EVERY neighborhood needs a spaceship, especially as a shortcut to church.  “The spaceship has to be connected to the church!  This road is just for the spaceships so it can zoom along.” (-L)
  • Another house became a store.  “There’s going to be a little park where the babies can play in the grass.  And the mom’s will bring them toys.  And they’ll buy toys in my store.  And there will be markers there too, but those will be for the big kids.” (-M)
  • The kids have picked up a few things from life in the Land of Tanz for sure.  “Every kind of road needs a roundabout.” (-L)
  • “Wait!  There has to be a restaurant!”  “I have an idea!  As people are on their way to the church and they get hungry, you can give them food from a little restaurant to carry out on trays to people so they can get food.”  The spaceship owner wasn’t entirely keen on this idea since he insisted the ride to church would only take a minute… (-L&J)
  • “Who wants to help me build a swimming pool?”  “Yes!  There HAS to be a swimming pool SOMEWHERE!”  (These kids have their priorities straight!  There ended up being a baby swimming pool AND a big kid swimming pool) :)  (-M&J)
And with that?  Our Aussie-American-Dutch-Kiwi-Tanzanian-Intergalactic? neighborhood was born! :)

From L to R: The pastor's house; the spaceship; a regular house; the church; another regular house (gotta have a few of those!); the store; the baby pool and park; the older kid pool and park.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tales from an Eighth Grade Classroom

I was Mrs. Lucas again today.  Seriously.  And no, I didn't get married.  I'm pretty sure you would have heard about something like that before it happened.  Although I did actually tell (lie to?) a salesman yesterday saying that I needed to talk to my husband before I could decide on whether to give to their cause or not... but that was because he wouldn't leave me alone.  Hmm.  Maybe lying's not the best way to go about it.  Shh.  But anyway.

I was Mrs. Lucas today.  Meaning I was subbing in 8th grade math and Language Arts for my mom.  It's kind of funny to be back in the same building I went to middle school in myself, working with some of the teachers I once had.  I'm teaching kids in rooms I have strong memories of learning in.  My mom's room was once my Advanced Language Arts classroom, where kids in my class were adept at getting our teacher on rabbit trails and making it take 2 full periods to go over a worksheet (we were, ahem, not her favorite class).  I loved that class though... I got to read a ton, which was right up my alley!  Across the hall from there is where I sat learning from Mr. T about science and where I took algebra.  He was one of the most patient, focused, Christ-loving teachers I ever had.  And when I attempted to do cross country on his team, I quickly realized that I preferred things like dance to running... and running... and running...  I have high hopes of one day figuring out why running appeals to people.  Personally, I think every 8 counts should be something different!


The first time I subbed for my mom, the kids hadn't quite figured out all the connections yet.  I joked, "most of you know my mom, Mrs. Lucas... she's pretty much known me my whole life...."   Pause.  wait.  kids look at me blankly.  Then one student said, "but wait, hasn't she known you your whole life?"  Hmm.  Um.  Yeah.  Next hour I thought maybe I'd better not say that.  But as soon as one girl came in the classroom, she looked at me and said, "wait! You're that girl who's from Africa!  I mean, you're not from Africa, but, you're like, you're from there!"  Hmm.  Yeah.  Something like that.

That same day, I told the students that I was going to go back to Tanzania to teach at some point.  The next day, they told my mom I was back in Tanzania.  When she said she thought I was still at home in Michigan, they were adamant.  "She told us she was going back!  She's back in Africa today!"  Hmm.  I wish I could just pop over in an evening like that!


It is amusing to see kids today doing the exact same things that my own peers did once upon a time.  The students in this classroom are amazed that I can hear them snickering under their breath, pretending to read with a book over their face as they talk to a neighbor, or trying to get me to believe that Mrs. Lucas really DOES let them switch seats to sit by their friends whenever they want.  Ha!  I am more and more convinced that kids. are kids.  no matter where they might live in the world.  I tell them I hear them... that we did the same things in the same seats when I was in this same classroom... that as a teacher, I'm used to paying attention to what's going on and catching kids who try to be silly along the way.  Most days they just ask when I'm going to get a real job... be a real teacher.  They don't seem to get that I am one.  But that's ok.  Maybe some day I'll grow up and become something great!  There's always hope... :D

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cultural Confusion...

I’ve written a lot on here about cultural differences and experiences I’ve had along the way in my international travels.  However, such confusions are certainly not limited to crossing country borders.  When I headed to NC for my first teaching job, I truly felt like I had entered a whole new land of language, culture, and understandings from what I knew as well.

My assistant was a great help that first year in helping me transition – and helping the kids to understand me.  I soon realized that the word “ten” was not a good example of the short “e” sound, as they all said “tee-in” every time.  And she helped translate for the kids when I told them we’d have popcorn and pop one day for a movie time… they stared blankly until she explained I meant “soda.”

The pointer wasn't quite this big,
thank goodness!
The best one, though, was one day when we were talking about teeth health.  (One of the perks of working in an elementary classroom is teaching not only reading, writing, and math, but also doing mouthwash every week with your kids and celebrating dental health week, drug awareness week, having a leprechaun visit your classroom once a year, and other random adventures!)  I pulled out my folder of materials I got from my mentor teacher and a big plastic toothbrush I got from the Dollar Tree to use as our pointer for the week, and started sharing about dental hygiene.  We had already discussed all the super-boring foods that are GOOD for your teeth, and then moved on to brainstorming some really great foods that taste amazing but are sure to rot your teeth along the way. 

After “candy,” “SODA,” and “chocolate” had all been mentioned, we hit a lull.  I thought for a minute myself, then excitedly shared my own.  “You know what one of my favorite things to eat is?  It’s SO bad for your teeth, but oh, it’s so delicious!  Elephant Ears!!!”

You would have thought a bomb had gone off in my classroom.  Every kid sitting criss-cross on my carpet jumped at least a foot off the ground and stared at me as if I’d gone crazy.  After a communal gasp, they all turned to each other and started twittering about… something. 

I was clueless.

Once again, my amazing, faithful assistant came to the rescue. 

“Wait a minute, friends.  Elephant ears are kind of like funnel cakes.  You know, like you get at the fair.  Except they don't have elephant ears here in NC, only up North.”


Relief.  Relaxed shoulders.  An unusual stillness and peace at the first grade carpet descended.  And one lone student raised his hand.

“Miss Lucas, you had me worried!  I was so scared.  I thought you meant you really ate elephant ears, like the ones we saw on the elephants at the zoo last week!”


Oh dear.  Glad we cleared up another misconception – and that yet another element of cultural understanding could unintentionally be brought into the first grade curriculum!

Photos found at: www.thisnext.com, http://sugarmamabakingco.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/recipe-elephant-ears/, and http://www.freewebs.com/lacyrichmond/elephant.htm

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A lesson in boys... and the Bible

The other day I had a lesson in all things... boy.

I was subbing for a Sunday School class, you see.  Since the focus this month is on honor, the co-leader (a male high-schooler) and I sat down to run through the lesson before class.  According to the lesson, we considered a question from the notes for ourselves.  "Who is someone you would consider to be your hero?  Or who is someone you want to be like when you grow up?"

It took me all of .3 seconds to think of several.  Depending on my various ages and stages throughout childhood, people I aspired to be like ranged from Kim Zmeskal and Bridgette Bartley to my coaches, mentors, and Godly women around me.  My models have changed to reflect maturity and understanding over time, it's true.  But it wasn't a difficult task.
Pretty sure I had this poster of Zmeskal hanging in my room for years...
how can you do something like this and NOT be a little girl's hero?

For my co-leader, it was a different story.  He couldn't think of one.

"Who is someone you respect?" I prompted as any true teacher is trained to do.  "Maybe someone who is really great at sports... or skilled at something..."

It took awhile, but... I finally got an answer.

"Yoda."

Really?  Yoda?

But of course, what was I thinking?  Despite the fact that this completely made-up character is from a different planet, has strange features, is green in color and speaks in a strangely mixed-up way... why wouldn't Yoda be the first choice for someone you want to be like when you grow up?

Then again, he's small... but mighty.  He gets to use a cool light saber and blow people up with his hand while flipping with ease 30 feet into the air.

Of course it would be Yoda.

My lesson in "all things boy" continued as a total of 8 boys meandered into the classroom.  No girls to be seen.  My conversation with my co-leader set the stage for all future discussions to be had.  We talked about the lesson, of course... just with a bit of a twist.  "We look on the inside and not on the outside because, well, it's the inside that really changes things."  "Yoda can do all this cool stuff not because he's just that awesome himself, but because he has the Force inside him.  And why is it that we can do great things?  What is our power source?  Why, the Holy Spirit, of course!"  "We can use this power to fight for what is good and in so doing, fight against the Dark side - the enemy."

I felt fortunate to have been inducted into all things Star Wars at an early age - compliments of having my dad and brother guide my formative years.  And don't get me wrong - I really do like a lot of the Star Wars (first) trilogy.  In Sunday School that week, we laughed a lot, learned a ton, had great discussions, and had lots of fun.  But at the same time, I had to sit back and laugh as I watched a room full of boys take on the topic of God with light sabers in hand.

Just one more reminder of how much I have yet to learn if I ever hope to understand the mind of boys!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kids Change Things!

I've been working on a website to get kids, youth, (and adults) connected and involved with missions for a while now... kind of my creative energy outlet from studying last term.  The site flowed out of my passion for kids, and my frustration with the idea that kids are too little to make a difference.  In fact, I think we need to empower kids and teens of all ages to make changes in the world through actions and through prayer right NOW.  Not in ten years or when they grow up, but today.

My hope is that kids around the world will be able to share and connect with each other and see how God might be encouraging them to do something for Him.  It's also a place where people of all ages can find ways to get connected with missions and pray for language work going on in Musoma.

"Don't let ANYONE look down on you because you are young, but SET AN EXAMPLE for the BELIEVERS in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."  - 1 Tim 4:12


So... check it out.  Take a look around.  And let me know if you have ideas of how I can make it better.  It's a work in progress for sure, and I'm excited to see if and how God might use it in the future as it continues to develop.
Go to the "Pray for Tanzania" button on the left to learn more about the language project I'll be supporting in Musoma.  Check out some amazing materials (from Wycliffe and other organizations) that I've linked to the Parents and Teachers section for teaching kids about missions.  Try your hand at learning a few new words in Swahili. :)  And learn about the families I'll be working with in Musoma via the link on the right.

Also, if you think this site is worth sharing, would you take a minute to do that?  It could be via FB, your blog, email, word of mouth, or whatever else strikes you.  The goal is to get kids - and adults! - connected, encouraged, and empowered to do the great things God has prepared for them to do!  I appreciate your help in whatever way that might look :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

School Supplies

11 August 2011

I was walking through Walmart yesterday, and the first thing I noticed were signs.  Everywhere.  For school supplies.  CHEAP school supplies.  In buckets.  And boxes.  And large quantities. 


Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed!

Let me explain.  For one, this was my first time at Walmart in a VERY long time.  After spending a couple of years looking for cheaply-made mini Buzz Lightyear pencil sharpeners for possible classroom prizes in little dukas all over Dar es Salaam, school supplies in bins like this seem like a dream come true!  But also, last year at this time my mom was searching for class sets of similarly-coloured plastic folders to send me in Tanzania.  And she and the clerk were discussing just how easily we take the ability to access things for granted in the States.

(Two-pocket folders are just an American thing, by the way.  The British have never heard of this before, or don’t care to use them, or something.  So I imported my own.  Plastic, so hopefully they'll last for years to come.  The only issue is that the British (and their prior colonies) use A4 paper, which is narrower and taller than our American 8½ x 11” printer paper.  So our writing folders looked a bit haphazard in grade 3 with papers hanging out of the tops.  But then again, what third grader's folder doesn't look a little messy, anyway?)

Back to school supplies.  In bins.  This time of year always brings a bit of excitement for the upcoming school year… new faces, a fresh start, a whole year ahead with chances to adapt old ideas and make new ones.  It’s a time of hope, joy, and looking forward to great things happening (as well as savoring the last few days of “freedom” while you create materials by hand in your own home for the classroom, as opposed to doing the same thing at a desk that comes up to your knees…)

But this year, I’m finding the “School Supply Sales” experience to be... surreal.  For one, I’m in transition myself.  I’m also preparing to go back to "school" myself (masters).  But, most importantly, for the first time since before I received my teaching license, I’m NOT preparing my own classroom for kids.

It’s been interesting to realize just how much I have based my identity on my teacherhood.  Yes, I know I am many, many things besides a teacher.  This “job” does not, by definition, explain who I am.  And yet, when people ask what I do, I reply “teacher.”  What do I like?  Kids.  Kids books.  Being crafty.  Finding fun ways to teach concepts in ways that little people will understand.  Getting a hundred and ten hugs every day.  (Along with a few other things, of course!)

So with all this, it’s been a struggle to NOT buy crayons.  NOT spend hours in a musty, moldy, hot room filled with dust from over the summer as I try to create the best seating arrangement for my incoming class.  NOT trying to figure out how to say kid’s names from 32 or so different countries.  NOT talking with other teachers and using all my end-of-the-year great ideas from last year to make this year off to an even better start.  And NOT finding my identity in what I do, but in who I am.  And in who the great I AM says He’s made me to be!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Days of School

7 September 2011

Lately, I’ve been seeing a LOT of back to school photos on Facebook. 

First came NC…
Then came the pictures from HOPAC and Dar...
A few misplaced Tanzanites on furlough in Minnesota...
the first day of school in a new country has GOT to be tough!  Be praying for these guys!

Even MI has gotten into the game!

So, since I was feeling a little left out (I miss teaching already!!!), I decided to get my own back to school photo commemorating my first day of online grad classes this fall.
Are you jealous?  Look again!

I’d say, despite the flexibility in location (and wardrobe!), I have a LOT of reading to do (and online lectures to watch) before Christmas…

But at least I’ve warmed up a bit since I first got back.  This was my first week back in the States, finishing my post-course work by writing a 10 page paper on Educational Theorists, and freezing in the air conditioner.  (Granted, it was hot*… everyone else was in short shorts and tank tops while I had on jeans and a fleece outside!)
Happy School Days!!!

*Hot, of course, being a relative term...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Few of My Favorite... People

30 May 2011

This past weekend, HOPAC put on our own rendition of selected pieces of The Sound of Music.  We called it "A Few of My Favorite Things." (And depending on what version of English you speak, you may feel the need to add a U into that "favourite" word...)  It not only served as a fundraiser for our new playground, but it was also a wonderful chance for amazing people from the whole community to work together in a joint project.  Think kindergarteners, high-schoolers and graduated students, parents, teachers, principals, and even our director all on stage at the same time!  It's been a long process and a lot of work (everything really worth doing is!).  But when it all came together on stage... it was totally worth it.

I got to help choreograph the "puppet" scene from when the Von Trapp kids are putting on a show for their father.
Cue the music... ♫ Odl lay hee hoo! ♫
                                               and the kids...
                                                                and off we go!
Here's a snapshot tour of the amazing performance they did.

the lonely goatherd... one of my great 3rd graders!
yodeling like a pro... puppet!
the goats arrive...
all the people around the town hearing our yodeler call
♫ A prince on the bridge of a castle moat...
Men on a boat with a load to tote...
Men in the midst of a table d'hote...
Men drinking beer with the foam afloat...  ♫
EVERYONE!
a little girl in the pale pink coat arrives... and hears... and answers... :)
but soon her "mama with a gleaming gloat" catches ear of something...
and isn't happy!
Now imagine getting a third grade boy and a fourth grade girl to dance together.  I'm not sure the word "cooties" has entered the HOPAC school vocabulary, but the concept is definitely there regardless.  My remedy?  "I promise that if you only touch arms while you skip around each other, you have my full permission to run off opposite sides of the stage afterward!"  It worked, they looked great, and I'm pretty sure they even had fun along the way!  Just don't tell them I said that... :)
♫ Happy are they lady ho lady lee ho, ho lady ho lady lady ho
Soon the duet will become a trio, lady odl lay odl loo! ♫
Yes, this was the night when one of the eyes fell off the goat mask. 
A sad moment for the imaginary goat... but lots of laughter for everyone involved!
This was definitely a new experience for me.  I've done my tiny bit of acting - a line or two of speaking, a front-walkover and the splits, in seventh grade for Bye Bye Birdie - and that was enough.  I was excited to help choreograph this because, as you know, dancing is something I love.  In the midst of it all, I discovered two things: 1. While I have a pretty good idea of how to teach dance and body movement (think being limp like a puppet), I realized I know NOTHING about acting.  Or teaching kids how to work on stage.  And 2. Theater is not my thing. As in, it's definitely not a life-giving activity that I feel energized from afterword. 

The good news is, I got to see my kiddos do a great job on stage.  I worked with some amazing people, made new friends, and had a lot of fun along the way!  And most importantly, we made some great memories before I head off to my next adventure... ones I will remember for a long, long time.

For those of you who aren't quite as keen on yodeling, I've included a few other snapshots from the play (with special thanks to Gil Medina for sharing these since my own camera died...).  Or, you can go on my FB and see the whole album linked there.  Enjoy!


The nuns
My dear friend Grace, our very own Maria!
Our very NON-Austrian collection of children! :)
The lovely Liesel and Friedrich (Lauren and Isaiah) in...
♫ 16 going on 17 ♫
The amazingly TOUGH musicians... half of whom had a fever and the flu all day Saturday and stuck it out for both performances anyway!