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Mud Lady

“Hey, you’re that mud lady!” was said with so much joy and excitement that it could only be taken as a compliment.

The longer I work with children the more I realize that they remember things differently than we do.

This first grader did not remember the rain that canceled the amazing, STEM activity we had planned.

He remembers the mud. Squishing through his fingers, splashing on his face, slipping along his arms.

He didn’t care about content connectors, learning objectives, or educational outcomes.

He cared about creating mud pies, mud kingdoms, and mudslides. He cared about the right ingredients to include in his special ‘soup’ that he would be sharing with his friends.

He didn’t feel the pressure to have an explanation ready… just in case a parent didn’t understand that this type of learning is priceless. Important. Appropriate.

Instead, he felt the joy of discovery. The freedom to guide his own learning, laugh with his friends, and get messy. Very messy.

Children learn by doing and doing is messy, imperfect, and unpredictable.

So yes, being “that mud lady” is a high compliment and not a bad way to be remembered.

We don’t get to choose how people will remember us, but we do get to choose how we respond to the unexpected moments placed before us.

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