A Pink Fedora

It was a pink fedora kind of day.  What does that mean, you ask?

This is parent-student-teacher conference week.  I love the opportunity to talk to families and yet, it’s a tough week for teachers.  Three hours of back to back to back conferences takes its toll…and it takes those precious after school moments usually devoted to planning and preparation and pushes them aside to make room for the conferences.  And, in conversation after conversation I find myself reminding students to be playful in their learning–that learning doesn’t mean routine and boring and something you dread.  You have to find ways to make it fun and interesting.  And that, in turn, reminds me to be more playful in my teaching and other responsibilities.  I have to find ways to make my hard days fun and rewarding too.

It seems odd to remind children to play, but when it comes to school and learning they seem to think that the path to learning is narrow.  They are looking for the one right way, which sometimes transfers to battles at home about that thing called homework.

I want “homework” to be curiosity and experimentation.  I want students to go home and explore ideas that came up in the classroom.  I want them to play with numbers and play with language.  I want them to figure out new ways to express their ideas in words…and in pictures. And I want them to come back to school and spread that energy and excitement around.  And some of my students do.

This morning, one of my students arrived at school wearing a pink fedora.  It was the first thing I noticed when I walked out to pick up my students this morning.  I could see him from quite a distance…smiling broadly and walking with the air of assurance that comes from knowing with confidence that a pink fedora makes a statement!


Somehow that pink fedora represents that playfulness I hope for in our learning community. Playful doesn’t have to mean silly or distracting…and that fedora was neither today.  For me that jaunty pink hat was a talisman of fun, of individuality, of style, with a bit of hopefulness and joy thrown in.  I’m not so sure that the hat will arrive at school again…and that’s okay.  One day of the bright pink fedora reminds me…and helps me remind my students…to find the fun and the playfulness in our work and our learning.

I hope you had a pink fedora kind of day too!

27 thoughts on “A Pink Fedora

  1. Tracey

    This is so cute. You must have a built a wonderful culture in your room for him to feel confident enough to wear his pink fedora. Such a great reminder to have a bit of fun. Good luck for teacher conference week, it can be exhasuating. 🙂

    1. kd0602 Post author

      Thanks Tracey. You are so right about the exhausting nature of conferences. I think this student has confidence to spare when it comes to a fashion statement! 🙂

  2. dogtrax

    I love that picture (as always, your lens captures much more than the image at hand)
    And this line: “It seems odd to remind children to play, but when it comes to school and learning they seem to think that the path to learning is narrow.” — We need to share that one out.

    1. kd0602 Post author

      Thanks Kevin. That preconceived notion of the narrow path bothers me…I also worry that in too many cases the path really is too narrow. That’s something I keep wanting to work at changing–even if it is one students at a time.

  3. Cindy

    For about two years, my daughter went through a hat period. Once it started, people would give her all sorts of fun hats. I mourned when she outgrew this phase because it was so playful and unique.

  4. blkdrama

    A Pink Fedora Day! Yep I will work on that, especially to fight the gray out there with remnants of snow on the first day of snow. Great pic Kim, Thanks!

  5. Terje

    I went back reading more slices from you. I can see that your OWL ‘play’ is both in your pictures and words. I can’t pick between the sandpipers or the pink fedora – both slices are playful. Then again, your happiness for the young writer was touching. You set a good example to your students with your writing.

    1. kd0602 Post author

      Thanks! I’ve really been focusing on being playful and that perspective seems to create more joy and fun for me in all aspects of my life. It even makes the stressful times more joyful!

  6. Chelsee

    I am inspired! I need to make my own pink fedora kind of day. What a spunky student…maybe it was a surprise or maybe it wasn’t, but kudos to the kiddo for being unique. Just look at what that one little clothing choice inspired!

  7. Y. Prior

    Really enjoyed this post! A few girlfriends and I give each other what we call “fun bracelets” – and we are not to wear them every day – but we choose the bracelet on a day when we want to think of that person or want to just add a little fun to our outfit. And it has worked!

    Anyhow, really liked this post – especially this: ” I have to find ways to make my hard days fun and rewarding too” –

    well said!

      1. kd0602 Post author

        Thanks! It’s interesting to see which posts resonate with people. There’s nothing like a pink fedora to get people’s attention!


    1. kd0602 Post author

      There’s something about a talisman to change your views…and improve your moods! Love the “fun bracelets”…great idea.



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