I try to keep this space semi-un-sappy, and usually work-free, but today was really cool. My students read part of Maya Angelou’s novel I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. It centered on descriptive writing, and Angelou’s brilliant description of pineapple-upside down cake.
I decided it’d be fun to bake pineapple upside-down cake for my kids to try. I’m not sure how much time you spend with middle school students, but they can be slightly unpleasant at times. And by unpleasant, I mean ungrateful. And sometimes mean. So, I was a little nervous. Bringing something from home—even as a kind gesture—can mean rolled eyes, comments on the size of the pieces of cake their peers get and a variety of other rude comments.
But my students surprised me in the best way today. I walked in to a cloud of thank you’s, and kids who were excited to do descriptive writing. They were astounded that I’d baked “just for them!” and that I’d spend time making something at home. It tickled me to see how thrilled they were by something that didn’t cost me too much financially or time-wise.
It’s days like today that make me glad to be in my profession. Opening up space for kids to experience something they’ve never tasted, getting them to connect to a story, be excited to write and having them feel cared for and valued is something that makes me so happy.
Kids are great sometimes, you know?