“Nice dance moves, Buddy!”

I wasn’t sure what my brother, calling from Edmonton, was talking about. But then he noted that he had recently seen the Inside Out launch video and proceeded to regale me with how much his daughter—my niece—was killing herself laughing at her Uncle Seth dancing in the library with his students. I wasn’t surprised by her laughter (the direct correlation between my dance moves and hilarity is striking), nor was I surprised by the distance the video had travelled (Facebook is everywhere!), but I was surprised by how quickly a “maybe” can turn into a teasing call from Alberta.

And so starts the quick year-in-review of strange things I’ve learned in my first year at ACS:

“Maybe” = “Yes”

Saying “maybe” to an invitation to write for a school blog quickly morphed, not only into actual writing, but also into participation in an impromptu dance session (with mirthful moves included).

Kindergarten Students Taste Bad

When K-B was lined up outside my office to use the nearby bathroom, one of the boys peeked in and then quickly retreated, saying to his friend, “Careful! That guy eats Kindergarteners!” I didn’t want to get that reputation so soon at ACS, so I popped out in the hallway, cookie in hand, and reassured the boys that I prefer cookies. They seemed relieved (not just because of the recent bathroom visit). I then might have mentioned that I’d wait until they were in grade 1 when they would be more nutritious and filling….

I “Cheat” in PE

Sometimes in PE classes, I can’t resist joining in with the activities. I’m especially susceptible during basketball drills, dodge ball (who hasn’t wanted to hit a moving target?), volleyball serving, and particularly, Capture-the-Flag. So when we went out onto the snowy field to have a boys-versus-girls round of the game, and the girls invited me to play on their team, I couldn’t resist.  I didn’t capture the flag—one of the girls did—but the boys didn’t get anywhere close to our flag (perhaps due to some hyper-vigilant pursuit of flag-capturing gentlemen). After soundly losing round one, some boys called out, “You girls only won because Mr. Bakker is a cheater!”  While I object to the cheating label, I was reminded to restrain my exuberance and give the boys a chance.

One-Eared Rabbits are Awesome!

I’ll just be working in my office or classroom when a student will dive right into their amazing story about their broken arm, new tractor, favorite sports team, or idea to raise funds for Run for Water. One especially wonderful story was when a grade 4 girl brought a container with a bunch of rabbits by for me to see (she was going to show them to K-A). She popped into my office and highlighted her favorite one-eared rabbit. I had never seen one of those before! Now I know that one-eared rabbits exist! More importantly, I know what a distinct privilege/honor/blessing it is to have so many young elementary students want to share exciting events in their lives with me.

Whether meaningful or strange, I’m very grateful to ACS (and particularly its delightful students) for the opportunity to keep learning at school!