Life Chronicles

That Prada (or Proud of) Moment of Teaching

“The Ides of March” Series … Prompt # 12: “The best small moment of the day.”

The classroom was humming with activity as fourth-graders feverishly wrote their way toward the end of their message in a bottle stories. Between conferencing with those already done with their rough drafts, telling that group for the umpteenth time to stop talking, and answering all the little questions in between, my head was spinning just a bit.

I had just returned from the work room after making a copy of a student’s rough draft, when one girl at a side desk stopped me mid-staple.

“Miss Kinne?” she asked, turning her innocent, yet focused eyes my way. “Do you wear perfume?”

It was a question I wasn’t expecting – a question so unlike “Is this long enough?” “Do we HAVE to write in cursive?” or “I don’t know what else to write …” – that I was stopped pleasantly in my tracks.

A smile spread across my face as I answered, “Why yes – yes, I do! Why do you ask?”

She replied, “Because I want to make the boy’s mom lounging on an expensive lounge chair with a fancy name, so I was wondering what the name of your perfume was.”

Flattered that this sweet fourth-grader thought I wore fancy-sounding perfume, I also grinned to myself, knowing that the name of my perfume probably wouldn’t suit.

“It’s Hanae Mori No. 4,” I answered, “but if that’s too hard to spell, I would recommend some other expensive-sounding names like Prada or Gucci.”

She seemed pleased with these suggestions and went back to her writing. Only a few minutes later, she came up to my desk, and asked how to spell “Prada.”

I don’t know if Prada makes fancy lounge chairs. And perhaps I just inadvertently sent this little girl on a lifelong chase of high-end products. But I couldn’t be more proud of her for thinking of creative details that most fourth-graders would have overlooked. It’s these kinds of moments that make me realize that – yes, they do get it! They are listening when I tell them to include details, and their busy minds are bringing forth things I never would have dreamed of.

And the fact that she cared about my perfume brought the most beautiful joy in the midst of an insanely busy writing workshop.

These are the teaching moments I will treasure up and savor all my life.

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