Dear Jasper and Kestrel,
I am sure you have Open House at your school in Portland. Kids put out their work in their class, or prepare presentations, to show to their parents. At the end of this evening, I will have done thirty of them.
Some Open Houses have been nerve-wracking. The year we planned to perform our class play and only half the cast showed up, I was near tears. Then one of the little sisters in the audience said, “I can read, if that would help.” So she and some of her friends read the parts of the missing actors. The play was a great success, showing true intelligence, which, as Stephen Hawking tells us, is the ability to adapt.
Then there have been the sad ones, where kids prepared work and cleaned the room and almost no parents came. “My Dad was busy,” said one the next day. “We had to go shopping.” Really? I wanted to scream at the absent parent. Really? Groceries couldn’t wait one more day?
Then there have been the massive, soul-nurturing successes. A few years, every single parent came, even those who were divorced and not speaking to each other. Other years, former students returned and made me feel like the richest woman on Earth. My favorite may be the year a student dragged his Mom to Open House so he could show her the science experiment we had done where we heated a milk jug until the expanding air popped the cap off, which fell delightfully onto his head. He had to do it a few times until he got it right, but eventually the air expanded and the cap landed. Joy all around.
This year has been a more low-key preparation. My Dragons have written many essays on their Chromebooks, in a program called Google Classroom. They will log on to the computer and show their parents how it works, as well as their writing, and how the teacher can respond to it as they write. They also plan to show off their art, and read some parts out of our Reader’s Theater plays.
I will write again after Open House and tell you how it went.