This is a quick little post before I surrender to a hot-bath-and-white-wine induced sleep (ahhh coping mechanisms... it's been an interesting few days).

On Friday I decided to read a few books to my students about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While I adore read alouds, my students are sometimes less than enthused about the prospect of sitting silently while Ms. Brown makes all kinds of crazy expressions and voices.

This time, however, you could have heard a pin drop. They were completely CAPTIVATED by this man's story. They literally cheered when I read about the victory of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They gasped when they learned that someone had hatefully assassinated the peaceful leader of civil rights. They made beautiful connections and had wonderfully innocent ponderings.

I think the idea of oppression hits closer to home in my classroom filled with brown-faced students than it ever did for me growing up.

After reading a few books and discussing how revolutionary Dr. King's Dream was for America, I asked the students if they would like to change the world. They all eagerly agreed, and without any prompting they began sharing their personal dreams of change.

Trusting my gut and inspired by their enthusiasm, I decided to dedicate the rest of the afternoon to a quiet space for creation. The only instructions were that students write the words "I have a dream that..." on the top of the paper, complete the sentence with their dream on the bottom, and then find a way to illustrate it. I you-tubed (has that become a verb yet? you know... like "googled") "I have a dream" and announced that I would be playing his speech for them to listen to while they worked.

It should come as no surprise to you that my classroom lacks in technology. I have a computer, true, but no fancy speakers or projector screen to hook it up to. I turned the volume up as loud as I could and angled the screen to face out to the class, assuming the majority of my students would simply remain hunched over their papers, crayon in hand and dream in heart.

Imagine my surprise when one by one my 8 and 9 year olds left their seats and crowded SILENTLY around my computer to watch a video nearly 50 years old. Once again, they were captivated.

I will treasure that moment for the rest of my life.


Kendra said…
Vanessa's Dad said…
I'm undone.

U R gifted.

God uses you to teach your students incredibly important life lessons.

God uses your students to teach us all incredibly important life lessons.

wow, that is so so so awesome. amazing. I wish I could have seen that.