On Friday, the 2nd grade pen pals of our little school and their sister school in a nearby community got to meet each other for the first time. The little ones had been writing each other all year and it has become a tradition for the sister school's 2nd grade to come visit our school for a fun filled day of activities.
Part of that tradition involved a visit to the nearby shore for netting and a guided tour through our Aqua Lab.
My older high school students became the teachers and after lots of preparation, I bowed out and let them do their thing.
But, as the "new guy", I still worried ...
Would my chosen beach crew, all boys, all young watermen who actually work on the water, all a little squirmy in a classroom desk, ... would they be able to share their knowledge with 2nd graders?
Would the lab crew "keep it fresh" for each of the four groups of 20 elementary kids(80 total) who toured the lab?
Was there something I missed in preparing?
We didn't miss anything I might have missed in planning and the kids did SPECTACULAR!
The second graders had a blast and the teachers who accompanied them gave our kids A+ for the wonderful job they did.
I just walked around beaming while they shined.
The interaction between the older and much younger kids was a wonderful thing to watch.
In education, we call that "cascade learning", but it's really a timeless tradition that needs no fancy educationalesian label.
It's all about connections ... which is why I love the photo above and why it is the only photo you will see in this post.
I did not take that photo.
One of my best and brightest students is a whiz bang photographer and on this rare day in which she did not have her camera at school, I passed mine off to her and said, " Shoot everything, fill the memory card".
And she did.
Most of those shots are for us, but this photo leaped out at me when I had time to sit down and look through my camera's memory.
In one well composed shot, she captured the sharing between old and new, as well as a sense of tenderness and caring between the two humans and the hermit crab cradled in both their hands.
It's a beautiful thing.