Jack’s third grade year was one of his favorites. His teacher was really young, but she was one of those amazing people who had definitely chosen the right career. She seemed like she’d been teaching third grade forever. For the first time since preschool, Jack loved going to school. Every afternoon, Jack would do his homework, eat a snack, and talk non-stop about what happened in his classroom. Everything seemed to be coming together for him. I could see his confidence rising. What a difference a great teacher makes!
It was also in third grade that the school conducted an eye exam and Jack was flagged as “probably needs glasses.” When his teacher gave Jack the note, he stuffed it in the bottom of his backpack, hoping it would go unnoticed. Unfortunately, for him, I was the Room Mom, so I was often in his classroom. When his teacher asked me if Jack had been to an eye doctor, I was caught off guard, “What happened to his eye?” She told me about the exam.
When Jack got home, I pulled the crumpled note from his backpack and made an appointment with an optometrist. Jack said it was a waste of time. He insisted his eyes could see everything – perfectly. The eye doctor did not agree with Jack’s self-diagnosis. In fact, I was amazed watching him struggle to read the eye chart. His eyesight was terrible.
Two weeks later, Jack walked into his third grade classroom, wearing his new glasses. The kids all commented. “What’s on your face?” “Why do you want to be a nerd?” But the teacher told him, “You look so handsome!” And the kids, because they loved her, decided Jack’s glasses were alright.
Soon after he got the glasses, Jack was chosen for the lead in the class play. It was “Arthur the Aardvark.” (If you are not familiar with Marc Brown’s books, Arthur is a third grader who, among other things, wears glasses.) Later that year, Jack was tested for and accepted into the school’s gifted program.
Toward the end of the school year, the teacher gave each student a list of superlatives: Most athletic, most creative, most likely to be rich, smartest, funniest, handsomest, prettiest, kindest… You get the idea. The students were asked to write a classmate’s name by each description. The winner of each title would be announced on the last day of school.
On the last day, there was a breakfast celebration. All of the parents were invited to attend. At the end of the breakfast, the teacher gave out awards. The final awards were based on the students’ votes. I assumed Jack would get most artistic or fastest runner. I nodded in agreement as the teacher announced and handed out each certificate. Jack was one of the last kids to get one. His superlative, “SMARTEST!” It was hilarious! This kid who struggled in school and was constantly being reminded that academics were not his thing, was just handed an award that proclaimed him the smartest kid in class.
The name of this craftivity is “Goofy Goggles.” Click the title to get the template and instructions for the craft. Your students can decorate them to create an alter-ego.