I thought I'd start this post with the lovely picture outside my window right now! Wow! How fantastically inspiring!!! Exclamation point!!
Now onto the purpose for this post...my graduate thesis. From the moment I entered grad school for special ed, I knew that I wanted to write my thesis on the effects of movement (particularly dance) on children with special needs. This summer, I've had the incredible opportunity to teach "dance" to K-4th graders at a local public elementary school. I am now two weeks into teaching and have experienced SO MANY instances of children with special needs flourishing in the dance classroom. I will write a separate post with describing those experiences. I am JAZZED up about furthering my research. What that will look like, I don't know, but for now I know in my heart that these kids are moved by moving (Possible title?).
Here are some thoughts that I had the other day while reflecting on my days' teaching and how that might relate to my thesis:
It is summer 2010 and I am sitting by the window of my highrise apartment watching a young boy (middle school-aged?) as he runs out of a two-story walk-up apartment building. At first, I wonder if something detrimental has happened to him because he is flinging his arms and running at a fast pace. Interestingly, he stops at the street corner (he is obviously not running from something/one) and kicks the button to cross the street. The behaviorist in me stops writing my 4th school paper (in 5 days...yuck) and attempts to determine the function of his behavior.
He then jumps, turns a 360, kicks one leg out and lands, which springs him forward toward the glass door of the next apartment building. He hits the glass with the sole of his skater-sized tennis shoe in a ninja-like fashion. "Oh NO", I say out loud. However the door doesn't break.
Without affect, he walks to the corner of the street and waits patiently until the light turned green for him to walk. The calm before the storm? Or is it after the storm? Has the full storm yet occurred? I continue to watch...
Green. He sprints like lion towards it's prey and jumps onto the curb as if he had a skateboard underneath his feet....and off he went, down the street, out of sight.
1) Maniac Magee
2) Thank GOD the frail elderly ladies that normally cross the street were not crossing at the same time, for they would have been taken DOWN by his whirlwind.
3) This boy has more energy than he knows what to do with
4) The potential of that energy in DANCE CLASS is off the charts! I'd love to help him channel it into focused art!
5) I wonder what that energy looks like in the classroom!
And then I realize...I already know.
Best thing about Hawai'i? FRESH MANGOES!!!