On Friday Lauren and I looked at one another and decided that we needed to take it to the streets. She suggested we gather up the kids and shake things up a bit by heading over to see the festivities at Union Square. I chimed in that we could stop in at the Barnes and Noble there to check out the children's books and a plan was born. We scooped up Miss Cheritha and her first grade students and sang and danced our way downtown.
It was a brilliant move. There really is nothing like doing something unexpected and spontaneous. As I looked at the children smiling I thought once again how blessed I am. I am in the right place, doing the right thing.
We arrived at B&N and headed directly to the large second floor children's book section. I was happy to see that my Curious George obsession had rubbed off on the children as they spent a great deal of time rummaging through the many titles in this book series. They were spread out on the floor and lounging on the chairs with various book titles. Each time they discovered a book we had read in class they felt compelled to run to us, book in hand, to loudly announce their find.
Books were being passed about, children were running from shelf to shelf and some took books from one area and returned it to another. This did not score us any points with the staff. Amidst sour looks and raised eyebrows we invited all of the children to join us in the hundred acre wood for a reading of two holiday favorites.
Lauren and I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Me doing my best impersonation of the voice over from the TV special and Lauren signing it in the gorgeous way that only she can. As we read we attracted a few children and adults who probably thought it was a scheduled story time. Our students sat and listened so intently, hanging on every word. I was impressed. It is rather neat to see them out and about in NYC, outside the confines of our classroom.
When this story was finished we read a new book called Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner. If you ever wondered what antics your snowmen get into while you are fast asleep look no further than this book (well you should also check out Snowmen at Night). These books are so much fun - especially at the end of the night when the snowmen are exhausted. Carrots, coal and buttons litter the field. I defy you to read this book and not chuckle.
After the reading we gathered up our belongings and headed towards the escalator. This was when I saw it. A Santa George! I had to have it. Why? I have no idea but every time I see a Curious George dressed up in a different outfit I have to have him. Luckily I am a first grade teacher so no one questions this odd obsession. We all have our weaknesses I suppose.
Back on the street, with Santa George safely secure in my coat pocket, we strolled around Union Square Park. We thought it would be wonderful if we bought all of the kids some hot apple cider and after some drama with the street vendor that is exactly what we did. We sat in the park sipping hot cider as we chatted and gazed.
Unfortunately not all children like hot apple cider. Several of them felt compelled to 'pitch in' and tossed their cups into the nearest trash bin. Oh well. We tried.
With that, our adventure was over. The morning flew by and now we had some rumbling tummies that needed lunch. Oh, New York. It really is a wonderful place to go to school and a wonderful place to teach.