Lessons Learned in Vegas

3:30 Wednesday afternoon. Sub plans typed..supplies grouped by the day they will be used and pre-k kids promised a class fish if they are good for the sub. (Yes...I bribe them. Come on people...I dance on tables if they have good behavior...do you really think I'm above bribing them? Really?) With my It's Time Get Out of Here checklist complete I am out the door. One word: Vegas. An adult's version of Disneyworld. Hmmm...does the word adult apply to me? Sure..we're just gonna go with that. Adult. I'm an adult. An adult who is going to a wedding...a wedding in VEGAS! Yes I told my kids I was leaving on an airplane. They now wave at every airplane they see hoping I see them. They do this even if I am standing right next to them. So...as I am telling my little loves that I am going to Vegas, one of my little sweets raises his hand. He waits patiently to be called on..and then asks with all sincerity: "Are you going to see Obama in Las Vegas?" Hmmmm.....I can see why he would think that. That is absolutely what I think of when I think Vegas. Obama. ::slowly shaking head back and forth:: It really is a good thing we do not get social studies grades in pre-k. Now..I did not meet Obama in Vegas. I did however, meet  Mr. Jimmy Choo and Mr.Christian Louboutin...well, not really...but I did go the stores..which is basically meeting them. Right? Let's be honest...taking a picture next to a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choo's is my equivalent to a 4 year old taking a picture with Mickey Mouse. And can I just say, that as I walked into the Forum Shops, I'm pretty sure I saw people lining the stores holding up signs that read "Welcome Home" and "We've Been Waiting for You".

Ahhh...Vegas. The last place I would expect to get a lesson on world culture and character education. The last place I would expect to find a lesson to bring back to my little ones. But that I did. As I walked through the shining, sparkling, stores and looked around at all the people, I began to realize exactly how sheltered my life has been. Hearing stories of people living in Thialand for 2 years, going to Spain for a year, or even just listening to the different languages being spoken around me, made me do a little soul-searching. Sure my little ones know about Swamp people. They absolutely know about Billy the Exterminator...

Billy the Exterminator
Billy the Exterminator

 ...but do they know about world cultures? Do they  know how some children have nothing to eat? How some children have to go to work instead of school? Do they know that there are children who do not get to walk up to a water fountain for water whenever they are thirsty? That there are kids out there who.. (I know..gasp!) do not own a DS? For that matter did I realize that the price of one pair of those glittery shoes would feed a child for a year?

 I live in the South. We have traditions. Deep rooted traditions. We are taught these traditions from a very young age. They are traditions that I cherish...that I love. I love hearing the Cajun accent of my mother talking to her brother. I love knowing that every spring we will have a crawfish boil. I am proud of my French speaking grandfather and my hardworking grandmother. However I also love knowing that there is a bigger world out there full of traditions I know nothing about. Traditions brought out of humblness. Traditions of hard work and skills that have been passed down through generations. Skills that have nothing to do with catching alligators. Traditions of cultures older than any books written. Cultures and traditions so far out of my comfort zone that I will learn more than the children I teach. 

Whew...I got deep there for a second. You didn't think I had it in me...did you? I do. Full of surprises..I'm telling you. Hang around...you'll see. So this year will be the year I begin to incorporate some of these cultures into out learning. Hmph. Who would've thought. Vegas. Of all places...has made me a better teacher...a fabulously dressed better teacher. Honestly...did you really think I would go to Vegas and not go shopping?

I mean really...how could I not buy this hat? ::talking super quick as if to explain:: I stayed on budget...I didn't charge anything..I ..I...come on it's Vegas. Peace out Peeps (we all knows what this means by now...right? If not..you are really going to need to contact me for tutoring)

vegas1
vegas1