Friday, January 19, 2007
So Few of Me!
In my current line of work, this is the busiest time that we have. We have distributed assessments, answered questions, and begun to prepare for regional scoring of ELA assessments. Now we have the pleasure of watching scoring DVDs to prepare for three straight weeks of training and scoring the ELAs. We'll catch our breathe for a few weeks and start all over again with Math.
On top of that - life still must go on and districts still want trainings in writing and data and curriculum mapping. And I am still trying to keep my New Year's resolutions of no work email after 5 pm and hitting the gym at least 5 times a week. (Keeping the first and falling behind on the latter.) No small wonder that I wish sometimes I could clone myself (only thinner!)
And that is exactly what Peter H. Reynolds does with Leo in So Few of Me. This creator of The Dot and Ish is among my favorites - I'd line up for his grocery list if he published it!!! I never fail to find inspiration in the simple stories and wonderful illustrations. (See my previous posts on his work for more about this wonderful author.)
In this tale, Leo is a busy lad. Like most of us, no matter how hard he worked there was always more to do. So he makes a list. That list grows and grows and grows. So he thinks "If only there were two of me." (Sound familiar?)
Lo and behold - there is a knock at the door and another Leo appears. But as the two Leos work, there is still more to do. And eventually two Leos becomes three, becomes four, becomes TEN!! And still there is work to be done.
The original Leo is exhausted and takes a nap. He awakens to find the other nine Leos staring at him asking "What are you doing?" He smiles and answers "Dreaming" and slowly the other nine disappear. And Leo wonders, "What if I did less, but did my BEST?" One Leo would work - and he would have time to dream.
I think in our rush to make sure that we "cover" our course materials and ensure that students are prepped for tests, we forget that they are still just kids (even in high school!) There is life outside of school. And that is exactly why this book is so important - we need to decide what is really important, and teach that. We need to encourage our students to dream - to be creative - to explore and take risks. That is all part of learning too.
The message is simple but the writing is powerful - a great mentor text for us all in our multi-tasking world!!