First graders are slow, especially when you want them to speed up. Today we were running late to get out to the line of cars picking students up after school. I was hustling along, trying not to tie up the line that sometimes snakes out of the parking lot, down the street, and then threatens to spill out onto the busy street around the corner. I turn around and I have only one student with me. The rest have stopped back inside the gate where they are crouched down, faces peering closely at the rain-wet sidewalk. Parents are peering in, probably wondering just what is holding their children up in there. But I knew. My students are nature lovers with the softest, kindest hearts and no regard for time as we adults know it. And sure enough, they were saving a slug from the potential trample of the oncoming feet of other classes.
On so many occasions, my students seem to slither forward, maybe an inch at a time. Putting away headphones and iPad–that seems to take an eternity. Zip up the backpack (if you have managed to cram the items actually into its belly instead of having them slip out in all directions), another lifetime. Put your name on your paper, along with the date…still waiting.
But head down to recess…wait, don’t run me over! Where did this speed come from? These slow-as-snail kids can go from 0-50 in no time when the word recess is associated!