When I transitioned from my job as a literacy coach back to a classroom teacher, I wistfully thought that perhaps my second graders would be just enough older and wiser that I would lose some of the innocent magic that six-year-old first graders bring to the life of a classroom.
I need not have worried.
A few weeks ago, we had an odd encounter with a raccoon in the morning as students were arriving at school. He was climbing a fence and behaving strangely. Just the fact that he was out and about in the daylight was a bit alarming. We made some phone calls to animal control and kept students from going near the raccoon, but for those kids who saw the drama unfolding, it became the talk of the classroom.
And thus was born…The Raccoon, the legend.
Since that time, I have found my students tossing berries into the woods at recess to a mysterious version of The Raccoon. I have listened to reports of numerous sightings of the wild beast—on the slide, in the trees, on the roof, and even looking in our window. Yesterday, two of my boys led me to a tree stump a little way from the main playground and showed me a stash of beanie stuffed animals that someone had hidden inside the hollow. Yes, they were convinced…it must be The Raccoon!!
Every strange thing (and some not-so-strange things) have been blamed on The Raccoon. He is featured in many of the stories they write, each one more dramatic than the one before. And every time it makes me smile. That “little kid magic” is alive and well!
Thank goodness for The Raccoon!