Bilal’s new class teacher had requested me to help her out for the Science fair coming up in a couple of weeks so I was glad that this may be a good opportunity to get to know his teacher and his friends.
Ms C is probably the best thing that happened to the school. She’s terrific and coming from me, thats something. Unfortunetly after 5 school changes, my experience with teachers has not been a very good one. But that I will leave for a later post.
Coming back to the school projects, there were three projects and my “expertise” was only needed for the bulletine board, which was relatively easy. The labels were computer printed, trimmed by the students, laminated and hopefully I will have them framed on the bb on my next visit next monday.
The three projects included a Volcano, an underwater Volcano and a plant being influenced to classical music.
There are three groups. The boys did the volcano naturally. The boys drew a picture of the volcano and I almost cried to see the shape. I bet my french neigbour’s nursery-going- little daughter Romane could do a better drawing. I gave the class a small description and drawing of what the volcano should look like and asked them to do one which they felt good-with, also adding some elements in. The boys did well, relatively. Bilal amazed me as usual. He really is in another league all together.
I got the first group of the girls to do a crayon water resist painting of the underwater scene. The girls were trying it for the first time which I was surprised about ! I mean, these are fifth graders !! They should have had more experience with water colors.
The second group of girls did a drawing of the potted plant. we cut out the outline of the drawing after it was done and later pasted it on a contrasting colored sheet. We made a frame of it, after the girls wrote their names on it. And now all the three projects are ready for being pasted on the bb.
If you think all is done .. think again. We have to first have all the writing material, research stuff writen out then that has to be decided how and where will we place all the drawings and the write ups. And finally tying all the ends of both the arms of the bb. It wont be a snap-out project but I think I completely enjoyed myself living back to my days teaching in school.
I will be visiting the class on Monday to finally complete the three bb’s.
Some observations :
As a Art and Craft teacher, experience has taught me that children in art class, tend to become more relaxed and noisy. They get pepped up so much so that they almost become unruly. I knew I should expect the boys to be naughty here too , but these boys were realy running out of control ! I mean foul language and ill behaviour.
Ms C has recently joined the class as class teacher and so I know she is doing a very good job at keeping the boys out of trouble and involved with studies. Infact I have really seen behavioural improvements in one or two children.
She really does go out of her way to encourage the students and get them motivated.
The girls as expected, move around in twos, threes or fours. Unfortunetly between mood swings and girlie talks, there’s really no creative spark I could see in anyone of them.
One important observation I made is that :
Bilal doesnt fit in anywhere here. Definetly not with the boys and surely not the girls.
This lost chap hangs around close to the wall, and just observes everybody with a smile on his face as though he is somehow a part of their group and is enjoying them.
It breaks my heart.
The other day he said, ” Mom, am I a virus ?”
When I probed him, he said, that when the teacher decided to make groups for the project, each group shoved him away asking him to join the other group. Nobody wanted him in their group.
It is a very difficult thing for a mother to face such a situation without getting emotional. But I have been thru exactly similar situations and I knew for years there was no one to whom I could talk to and explain how I felt, atleast my son could talk to me. I told him the one thing that had really sparked me long ago.
” You”re a league apart ”
What mattered more ? that my son was not knocking other kids with his fists and knee ? that he was not using F’s and B’s constantly ? that he was not poking fun at others ? that he was being polite and courteous ? that he was soft spoken and sharing his stationery even when nobody was returning it ? there was one child who even used Bilal’s water bottle to kick it around as a football.
I know “bully” when I see it.
In the end Ms C who had taken two girl students to the principals office and later, two boy students to the principals office, said to me what havoc the class can play some times ! I agreed.
She said she encourages Bilal to join the other boys. But although he would want to join them, something holds him back. Probably he fears he doesnt want to “become” like them.
“I am glad he is not like them”.
I just trust everything in Ms C’s hands and left, hoping and praying.