CHANGES AND THE BEAUTIFUL VASE
a view from second grade*
As I reflect upon that one class that Edward** taught to my second grade class*, I realize that it was a most remarkable and class changing event. The children realized that they could give power to another and give power and energy to themselves both by the words they thought and how they spoke to one another.
Because it happened at the very beginning of the school year, I could draw their attention back to that moment and encourage the children to show their power by building each other up. Most strikingly, however, the children themselves would remark with glowing energy, “your giving her power,” when one of them gave encouraging words to another child. The children would also often refer to the Story of the Beautiful, he told us. “Oh, you have just broken his beautiful vase, you must feel that your beautiful vase is broken.”
Through their drawings and the story of The Beautiful Vase, the children had common images they could use to speak about the deeper emotions they were living. It united them that year and they became more proactive learners.
* Ms. Fanny Oh, at the time a Second Grade Teacher, Fenton Charter School, Lake Terrace, CA
** Edward Santana-Grace