May 14, 2009

I laid down on a bed of nails

by Stephanie Abney

I guess you really can do anything... given the right reasons and/or the right circumstances. (I'll explain this more as we go along). This is going to be short (at least, short... for ME). I'm so tired that I think I'll be asleep for the night by 7:30 tonight. Slowly, we are making our way to the end of the school year and at my school we still have 10 actual days of school left (we come back after Memorial Day). What a journey this first year of teaching full-time has been, particularly at my age (58).

I've loved all the years of substitute teaching and now I have really enjoyed this year as well. I think I was truly supposed to be the teacher for some of these kids. I hope I have been able to give to them what they were in need of, as they certainly have given to me. Case in point: every morning I read to the children about someone remarkable and we talk about them and the traits that made that person so amazing so they can learn to model them. The last two days we have been reading about Albert Schweitzer. Anyway, when I finish reading, we discuss it a bit and write some traits and ideas on the board and the kids settle down to write a journal entry about it and then illustrate it. It's amazing what young children can come up with. So, this morning I was at my desk when all of a sudden one of my little 7 year old boys quietly gets out of his seat, walks up to my desk, stands right next to me, leans his head on my shoulder until our heads are touching and gives me a little squeeze and then slips back into his seat without saying a word. Yep, that's why I teach.

I've tried to make every day memorable for them. Tuesday was National Limerick Day so we learned about them and tried our hand at writing a couple of them. Yesterday we went to the Science Center and the Planetarium. Today is (in case you were wondering, and why wouldn't you be????) National Dance Like a Chicken Day, so we had a reading comprehension on dancing like a chicken and then I put on a CD with the music and the whole class did the Chicken Dance.

Sat. is the anniversary of the day that Root Beer was invented so tomorrow we are having root beer floats. And so it goes, there is always something to celebrate ~ I see to it. I live my own life trying to celebrate each day. Some days I'm more successful than others.

Back to the bed of nails... if you didn't read the title, bet I caught you by surprise!! At the Science Center yesterday, there was a "bed of nails" ~ 1,000 of them to be exact, all sharp, but all PERFECTLY lined up. The theory is that if you have all these nails to support and distribute your weight, it doesn't hurt. This is true. I have PLENTY of weight to support and I laid down on it twice and it didn't hurt. Every nail was exactly where it was supposed to be; none of them were trying to be in the limelight and stick up higher or be all insecure and be lower than they should be. Each nail did its part. I found it interesting. Lots of analogies there... every member of a family, a ward, an ANWA chapter, etc. etc. fulfilling their part and being there to support each other. Pretty cool. So, if you've read this far, I guess you deserve proof. So, here it is:
(you gotta' love that stupid sign that says "300 pound weight limit" right under me ~ but I didn't need to worry ~ I'm not there yet!!!!!!!!!

Kind of makes me want to head off to bed now. Nighty night!! Enjoy!


  1. Stephanie you are absolutely one of the coolest teachers I have seen. i love your enthusiasm and the obvious love you have for those children. I'm so honored to know you and to be your friend! I love the bed of nails analogy. I always wondered about the science behind the "mystery." thanks!

  2. I love the bed of nails analogy, too. I think I need to take one into Young Women's to teach them the points (PUN INTENDED!!) you mentioned. Do you think the museum would loan it to me?

  3. Awesome, Stephanie! You're a teacher amoung teachers!

  4. Of course you are one of the best. I want to try the bed of nails. How cool was that!

  5. You're braver than I am. I don't think I'd want to try a bed of nails.

  6. I'm readying myself to return to school to become a teacher...I hope I can be like you! Love the analogy, too. I'll tuck it away for future use.


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