Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Food for Thought
My daughter made lunch for me today. All by herself. She's eight. She used the stove and prepared cheese quesadillas. She told me that the secret is using a little butter in the pan. They were perfect and not just because she made them. She has been paying attention to the craft of cooking. She boasts that her dad makes the best grilled cheese because he pays attention. She knows I get distracted when making grilled cheese and burn them. I do that with simple things while cooking. I don't pay close attention. She prefers my mac and cheese since I use cream instead of milk. She has a narrow, but nuanced palette.
She has been at my side in the kitchen since birth. Her evolution into a cook started quite simply. First just sitting on the counter watching. Then she progressed to cracking eggs, then scrambling them with assistance. This past year she has mastered the microwave, reheating pasta and making hot chocolate. It has evolved this week into a hot lunch for both of us. I still use the knife and turn the stove on low, but she did the rest. She paid attention. Her thoughtful work in the kitchen reminded me of the value of time spent in the classroom nurturing readers and writers. There never is enough.
Not all students come having paid careful attention to reading and writing. Not all students recognize the secrets of literacy. Not all students have someone by their side to foster their development over time. No matter the experiences that students bring to my my classroom, what I know is we need time. Time to read and write. Time that isn't uninterrupted or derailed. Fortunately, I've got nine more weeks to help them pay attention, unlock the secrets and broaden their palette.