I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Thursday, November 12, 2009


It's coincidental that the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street coincides so perfectly with my current train of thought... magic.

Not Harry Potter magic, exactly, but the sort of magic or thrill of belief in something.

Years ago, I was watching an A&E biography on Sesame Street. It was really interesting. They showed the set of the TV show. I remember seeing demonstrations of how the puppeteers did their work; I remember distinctly seeing how Big Bird's puppeteer did all of the amazing Big Bird work work. It was fascinating.

And yet, when it was over, I remember turning to my partner and saying to him, "That was awesome. I had no idea how much work went into all of it. But, you know what? There is still a part of me that's convinced that there is an actual Sesame Street. With Ernie and Bert and Grover and Linda and Bob. So, that was a really cool show and all. But there really is a Sesame Street. And that wasn't it."

No matter what I may know now as an adult, there is still the level of magic that I still hold onto. Because it is magic.

My students live the magic every day. I see evidence all the time. I'll give you an example. Every day, wen I go pick up my students at lunch, I bring Zed. Zed is a little zebra puppet attached to a stick that fits inside a cone.

I hold the cone and the stick, and can control Zed with the stick. Zed's story is that he comes out only when it's quiet; loud noises scare him and he goes back into the cone. I initially brought him down to lunch in the beginning of the year when some of my darlings were having trouble transitioning from the loud of the lunchroom into the quiet of the hallway. Zed helped a lot.

Plus, Zed is adorable and I can make him really look like he's peering over the top, or looking intently at a student, or if I shake the stick just right I can make it look like he's waving to the children.

They. Love. Him.

And they wave back. (also, so do many teachers if Zed waves at them in the hallway. ♥)

Recently Sandy realized that *I* control Zed. That he's a puppet. That when I push the stick, Zed comes out. That when I turn the stick, Zed turns around. That when I shake the stick, Zed waves. Sandy noticed this and started watching and telling some of his friends. He was obsessed with it for a few days. His observer eye was glued to my stick hand and he watched every moment, finding triumph in the fact that he was right! Miz F was controlling Zed.

I think he wondered why none of his friends, though, seemed as obsessed by this idea as he was, why none of them really paid any attention to it, even when he pointed it out to them. A lot. He'd whisper to Warner, "look, look! See how Miz F is moving the stick!" Or: "When she shakes it, it makes Zed do the wave at us!" His friends might nod, or look, or acknowledge what he was saying, but only in a polite 'isn't that nice?' sort of way.

About a week later, Sandy stopped paying attention to every movement I made with Zed on the stick. He now waves to Zed as we walk down the hallway; he watches Zed and not my stick hand. He smiles and grins and laughs along with the children as we head down the hallway to our classroom. Sandy knows the truth now, that I control Zed.

But I think he just prefers the magic.


mil said...

As well he should !

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