So what is the “real main idea” here, Miss?
At the beginning of each unit, I present my mini-lectures on reading skills. It never fails that as I am talking I suddenly focus in on my students’ faces and think, “Really, Cindy? Do you think they really care about the main idea (etc.)?” Just this semester, I have a student whose 12 year old sister threatened to commit suicide, a student who was “working 2 jobs totaling more than 60 hours, taking care of her sick father, and taking 4 classes,” a student who “just wants to play baseball,” 2 students who told me they “are just here to play football, nothing more,” and a pregnant student who feels sick all the time. (I’m sure you have the same “stories” sitting in your classroom.) And I want to talk about main ideas! I feel Charlie Brown’s pain!
So let’s talk about the “real main idea” here:
I just read a book called Mister Owit’as Guide to Gardening: How I learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart; an unexpected gem because it happened to speak to me in my life right now. Through his work in her garden, Mr. Owita teaches Carol a thing or two about life. An unexpected friendship develops and the two help each other through personal crises and to reach a greater understanding of how to deal with what life deals us. Yep, sappy! Long story short, the book ends with this line: In every moment there exists a lifetime. Every day brings something good!
As I finished the book this morning (Tuesday, 3/9), I stepped out into our back yard and thought about my teaching day ahead. Aargh, 4 more days and then spring break! TG! Then, as I glanced down, I saw a rose bud on my brand new yellow rose bush called “Easy Living.”
The main idea: In every moment there exists a lifetime. Every day brings something good! I can’t wait to answer my student’s question!