Pink Pearl   Leave a comment

When I was an earnest pony-tailed fourth grader, I relished unzipping my pencil case as soon as the morning bell rang. I’d see my number-two pencils lined up in a tidy row, formal and expectant. They seemed to whisper, “There’s work to be done and not a moment to waste.”  In contrast, my Pink Pearl eraser, casually propped among their uprightness, lent a rubbery whiff of friendliness,  “Relax, don’t worry . . . everything’ll be ok.”  Plunking Pink Pearl down on the desktop seemed to soften my habit of anxiety, and after scooting my chair tight to the desk and sitting up ever so straight, I was ready to tackle my newest task.

. . .then wouldn’t you know, I became a teacher! . . . and  from this vantage point, I’ve become an unabashed advocate of Pink Pearl for her singular role of kindness in our scholastic lives. Year after year I’ve watched countless kids relax a notch simply because Pearl’s within easy reach to help them untangle yet another messy equation or vexing timeline. And though it can take up to a few weeks of reassurance, even my most fretful students finally get it: a failed attempt does not spell failure. Space can always be re-opened for success, and do-overs are, in fact, daily events. The entire classroom, including myself, breathes easier knowing we aren’t pressed to get it right the first time.  New starts and clean slates provide the very remedy we need.

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Of course, there’s more than one way to clean a slate. The electronic Delete will be a favorite forever because it’s swift and surgical, leaving no blurs in its wake. And what better way to obliterate pesky errors than the popular Cross-Out? That one’s a winner if you like rowdy pages with bold lines and undulating arrows—such creative chaos can be invigorating. These methods have their time and place, and they work. But when calm order is called for, when forgiveness and flexibility are needed, when the desktop is a tangible one and there’s a disheartened kid holding the pencil, I will always suggest Pink Pearl.  Taking time, making space, letting go, and saying yes to kindness—this is a mantra to live by.

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Posted March 7, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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