Right before Christmas vacation, one of my students said to me. “Well, it’s been nice knowin’ ya Mrs. Smythe. I’ll see ya next year! Before we go, though, can you tell me who my new teacher will be?”
Me: “What do you mean, your new teacher? Am I going somewhere? Do you know something I don’t know?”
Student, “Aw, you know, my first grade teacher. It’s a new year, and I’ll be in first grade!”
Well, that required a discussion about what a new year is. It’s a bit hard to explain to children in elementary school what that means. To them the year goes from September to June. What’s up with the change in January? It was a challenge, but I did my best, and let them know that I would indeed be greeting them in the New Year. Most of them were happy about that. After a short but very enjoyable break, it was back to the chalkboard! We spent our initial class time discussing New Years’ Resolutions. I would like to now provide you with a little peek into our discussion. It’s just more fun sharing the conversation!
Me: Boys and girls, today we are going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Does anyone know what a New Years Resolution is?
Karl: Sure, a New Year’s Resolution is when you say, like, I want to lose weight.
Cathy: No, a New Years resolution is a promise! It’s a promise that you are going to do something.
Neal: I know. It’s like when you go to bed, and someone promises they will play with you in the morning, but then the morning comes and they don’t, it’s like breaking a promise!
John: Yeah, when you say you are going to play with one friend, and then they play with another…that’s breaking a promise, like when Karl…”
Me: Wait, wait, wait. Let’s get back to the New Years Resolution thing. It is like making a promise! But, you are making a promise to yourself. Like, for example, I promise to exercise more, or I promise not to yell so much, or I promise to lose weight. Have you heard your parents talk about this?
John: Mrs. Smythe, my belt is broken.
Me: Okay, go see Mrs. FixesThings, -now, about New Years Resolutions.
Mia: I don’t remember if I packed lunch or not….
Me: Go see Mrs. FixesThings. (Okay, she is my K-2 Failsafe para, and even though she threatens to quit on a daily basis, I would never, never, never accept it. Plus, I know she’s kidding. She loves lunch duty too much. ) Now, have any of you heard about New Years resolutions???
All, screaming and yelling: Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!
Michael: My mom wants to lose weight.
Karl: Yeah. My mom wants to lose weight, she says that every single year, and she never does.
David: Hey, My dad wants to lose weight!
Me: So, a New Year’s Resolution is making a promise. My New Years Resolutions are that I am going to exercise more, I am going to eat healthy foods, and do something nice for to at least one person at day.
Casey: Oh, can it be me?
Matt: NO, me, me, me!!!
John: I know what your revolution can be; you can be a better drawer. You are pretty good Mrs. Smythe, but you can do better.
Michelle: I think you should jog more.
Sarah: I think you should drink more coffee. Then you won’t forget where you put things all the time.
Karl: Uh, maybe you should lose some weight, like my mom.
Ryan: Why don’t you get a job at McDonald’s and make a lot of money? Then you could bring us Happy Meals…and buy us more presents!!
After a lengthy and fast paced discussion about all the many things the children thought I should work on, and other jobs I should consider, we talked about what things kids should think about when making resolutions. They were ready with their own resolutions, which they called revolutions!
My revolution is to lose weight and get in shape. (This from a kiddo who is skinny as a rail, but cute as a button…)
Mine is to eat healthy foods. All I eat is candy, you know.
I want to eat healthy foods and get stronger! I want muscles!
I want to earn some money so I can buy Island Barbie.
This discussion evolved into a conversation about what they were excited about doing in this New Year. The things they are excited about are things you would never, never hear an adult say that they are excited about. (Well, most of us, anyway.) This is what they can’t wait for!
I can’t wait to lose my tooth!
I can’t wait to ride a two-wheeler!
I can’t wait to get bigger! I want to get bigger and bigger and bigger. (Now that’s something you will NEVER hear me say.)
I can’t wait for this year cause my birthday is coming up! I can’t wait for my birthday! (Yeah, me too.)
I can’t wait for the dentist! I go to the prize box and get a new toothbrush. (All I got was a root canal and some painful x-rays…)
I can’t wait for the summer when I can get a new bathing suit and go to the pool! (Oh, I can’t even think about that.)
Their enthusiasm is fantastic and refreshing. It forces me to remember how it felt when everything you did was new, fun and exciting! When shopping for a bathing suit was just great, and you could even just grab one off the rack! (Oh God I wish it were still so…) When all you wanted to do was get bigger and older, and smarter! When losing a tooth was a natural thing, and did not involve anesthesia. I want to be excited about life again! I want to look forward to play dates, birthdays, prizes, riding a two-wheeler, the pool and new bathing suits!
Now, where is a star so I can wish upon it?
(It's a repost from years earlier, but I'm busy trying to build my list of revolutions for THIS YEAR. Any one have vanishing ink laying around???)