Loose Ends: Show and tell time

Dolly Viscardi
The beginning of school is usually the introduction of a time-honored tradition in the primary grade classroom: show and tell. Preschoolers and kindergarteners delight in sharing items they picked up during summer vacation or even a special rock or stick they found out in the yard. The most exciting part of the weekly ritual is that each student gets a uninterrupted slice of the teacher’s time and everyone’s attention. Most items are self-explanatory, so even the most reserved children can participate fully and feel as if they are not only accepted but admired.
School’s late start this year offers the kids a little more time to come up with show and tell items to haul to school. This year, with the dismantling of the new school classrooms, show and tell might include odds and ends the teachers can bring in to share. That scenario most likely won’t happen though, as all the adults have been too busy trying to decide which things in their classroom they need right away and which items can be stored until later.
The classroom teacher’s collection of supplemental materials used to enrich the curriculum might have to be put into storage. The process of sorting through the needed materials is a second culling, as teachers had to do this when they originally moved out of the old elementary school. Yet, by the time the students hit the doors running, it will be just another school year. When the children get back together, all the talk about the old school, the new school and the temporary school will have died down.
Community members are calling for the local school district to do a lot more than have a show and tell session or two about the structural concerns at the new elementary school. Rather than have board members and school district employees decide which items need to be shared, taxpayers would like to be included in all of the sessions in the future. After all, it is show and tell time.