July 31st, 2014

What a 4th grader wants to do…

Me: I’m looking forward to seeing you next week! We’ll have about 3 hours to spend together so think about what you’d like to do and let me know.

4th Grade Mentee: Akkkk, Ms. Jakey I’m so excited! OK, so here are the things that I like to do:

- bake / cook (we could make cookies at my house!)
- go to the beach (a San Francisco beach)
- jumping (I like to move)
- going anywhere (I pretty much like to go anywhere)

Me: Those all sound like great options!

April 9th, 2014

Ms. Jakey, don’t take this personally but…

5th Grader: Ms. Jakey, don’t take this personally but I don’t think dance class is the right place for me.
Me: OK. Thanks for letting me know. Is there anything I can do to help with that? Like is there anything I can do differently to make it a different and better experience for you?
5th Grader: No, I don’t think so. I just know it’s not right for me.
Me: OK, fair enough.

March 9th, 2014


This short interaction reminded me of how often we all go on auto-pilot, especially in the morning - lol! :) This time it was the student, but often it’s me.

5th Grader: Hey Ms. Jakey!
Me: Hey! Good Morning!
5th Grader: Good. 

March 2nd, 2014
Hi dance teacher! Where were you? The other teacher taught like a robot.
February 26th, 2014

What happened?

Beginning of Class

Me: I had some sad stuff happen in my family this weekend. I don’t really want to talk about it, but I don’t have the energy to fight you on anything. So I’d just really appreciate if we could all try to do our best and if our class goes smoothly. Do you know what I mean?
3rd graders: (with general unanimity and understanding) Yessss.

End of Class

3rd grader: Ms. Jakey, you know when you said that something sad happened in your family? What happened?
Me: My cousin passed away. And I was really close to her. Thanks for asking.
3rd grader: I’m sorry you’re sad Ms. Jakey. I hope it get’s better.
Me: Thank you so much. That’s very kind of you.

January 26th, 2014


As I’m putting down painters tape on the auditorium floor, I walk by a 5th grader eating breakfast at a table.

5th Grader: Oh, the weekend!
Me: Are you looking forward to the weekend?
5th Grader: Well, you know, same-old same-old.
Me: What do you mean?
5th Grader: Well, it’s always the same thing, every weekend…
Me: Which is?
5th Grader: Hanging out in the jacuzzi.
Me: Oh! Do you have a jacuzzi at your house? Or close by to your house?
5th Grader: No, there’s one at the motel we’re staying at.
Me: Oh, I see. For how long have you been at the motel?
5th Grader: About 2 weeks now.

Can I have a CD?

2nd Grader: How do I get one of those?
Me: Do you mean a CD?
2nd Grader: Yeah, if I had one I could practice the dances at home.
Me: That’s a really good point. I wonder if there’s a way to burn CD’s for everyone in dance class.
2nd Grader: Why don’t you just have the 5th graders do it? They’re always on their computers.
Me: That’s a great idea! I need to think about how that might work because I think it would be great if all students could have CD’s. That would be 500 CD’s though…. because that’s about how many students take dance class. Hmmm. Thanks for letting me know you’d like one. I’m going to think about how we might be able to make this happen.

January 8th, 2014
Ms. Jakey, you must really be working hard cause I can see you sweating above your lip, where your moustache would be.
2nd grader, standing close to me in dance class
November 26th, 2013

This whole school loves you.

Kindergartener: Ms. Jakey, can I tell you something?
Me: Sure.
Kindergartener: This whole school loves you.
Me: (pause) What an incredibly kind thing to say. Thank you for sharing that with me. It means a lot to me.

November 17th, 2013

A Spontaneous 1st Grade Thank You Cookie

1st grader: Ms. Jakey! I made these at home!
Me: Really!? Did you decorate them too?
1st grader: Yeah! With the frosting and everything!
Me: Wow! They’re really beautiful! And impressive! Why don’t you put them on the table with the all backpacks, so nothing happens to them while we’re dancing.
1st grader: OK.

……at the end of class……

1st grader: Ms. Jakey, I want you to have one.
Me: Really!? Are you sure?
1st Grader: Yeah.
Me: But really? You weren’t going to give them to someone else or do something with them in school?
1st grader: No, I want you to have one.
Me: OK, if you insist. (I take one out of the bag) Well thank you very very much. That’s very kind of you.
1st grader: You are welcome.

(Source: artistsintheclassroom5)