Wednesday, May 14, 2008

didn't tell

Every week in my class, one student is selected as the "superstar." The superstar gets to sit in a special chair. Every day after morning meeting, the superstar gets to share some things about him or herself, or read from a favorite book. On Friday, the kids all write letters to their superstar classmate, and read each one aloud.

Last week, we ran out of students, so this week, as the newest member of the class (or at least, presence in the classroom), I got to be "it." It's a comfort to know that both the teacher and the aide who was in this class previously were also superstars over the course of the year.

So, since I'm old, I had to think about what to tell these kids. I printed out some photos of my extended and immediate families, some of the cool cakes I've decorated, and a really nice aerial photo of Cape Cod. I talked to them about Massachusetts and going to the beach and all kinds of things... but I didn't tell them about the cancer.

I just really did not want to get into it with them. They're second graders. There was no reason for them to know. If I had been doing a similarly-themed presentation to high school kids, I would have made different choices: family, obviously, but more focus on where I went to college, and what my jobs have been. And since one of my jobs is facilitating the support group, that would provide a nice segue, I think. But for these kids, right now, I'm not telling.


Sissy Willis said...

You did the right thing making it informative and fun. They are lucky to have such a thoughtful, dedicated teacher. :-)

I'm intrigued, though, at the psychology of picking one person to be "superstar" and the presumed attendant jealousies and resentments that might ensue. It seems the other side of the coin of the "self-esteem" approach I've read so much about, where kids are taught to "feel good about themselves" regardless of actual achievements to feel proud of. Both seem artificial and even dishonest in a way. ???

Curtis said...

Right call, I would say. You'd just be scaring them to no end.