Monday, September 26, 2011

Hair Tinsel

I am teaching 3rd grade this year and can't help but find humor in the things that come our of their mouths. I have a group of strong personalities which lead to some entertaining discussions and exhausting days. Here is just a glance into an average day.
I have been trying to use picture books to introduce some CAFE strategies in our classroom. This is very successful if I can just get them to stop blurting out their connections mid-story. They have wonderful things to share but I'd like to actually hear them all.

I was in the middle of an engaging page when one of my sweethearts blurts out:

"Mrs. G, do you have tinsel in your hair?"

Now, for those of you who don't know...tinsel is actually put into peoples hair as decoration. It's actually very cute looking...I have been considering getting them for my 4 year old niece.

I was surprised at this outburst but was not surprised by the mouth it came out of.

"No, I don't have tinsel in my hair...WHY?", I asked with true disbelief in my tone.

"Because you have silver glittery stuff in your hair.", she replied without hesitation.

The light bulb began to glow over my head as my cheeks began to turn a bright shade of crimson. This was not happening to me.

"Oh sweetie", I replied in my sweetest teacher voice, "those would be grey hairs. Grown-ups get those when they have kids and in moments like this." I couldn't help but smile and give a slight giggle at this embarrassing moment.

"Well, it's really glittery!", she replied without an ounce of sarcasm or judgement.

How can you not smile a little? At least she thought these glittery hairs were trendy. Am I missing something?

I went to check out these silver, glittery tinsel strands in my hair during recess. The mirror revealed that they needed to be removed....IMMEDIATELY. Dark hair and "silver tinsel" just don't go together. Maybe I need to trend up a bit and add some red tinsel to my hair...something to ponder.


  1. I loved when you said you were surprised by the outburst by not by the mouth it came out of. Great line and so true!I am so relieved to know that I have hair tinsel too, lots of it!

  2. I love this story. Kids have such a great way of saying things. From now on when those grays hairs start peeking through I'm going to think of it as silver tinsel!

    And, hey, go for the red. It might be fun!

  3. Love it!

    BTW: I've been noticing feathers in a lot of people's hair around here. Not sure I'm ready for that trend yet.

    My best,

  4. 1) I agree with Diana. I loved that line as well.

    2) From the mouths of babes. It's great that kids don't really see the grey hair as something negative but as a fashion accessory!

    3) Stacey we have feathers all over the place. Half of the girls in school have some sort of feather accessory.

  5. Think it, say it. There is no filter on third graders thoughts and spoken words. I like the idea of gray hair as tinsel. That makes me smile, just like your story.

  6. Love the way you were able to capture the humor of the moment with your words. It's hard for me to do that as a writer.

  7. Funny situation and well-written piece. Next time anyone mentions gray hair you can always say that it is tinsel and it is in fashion.

  8. :) I refer to mine as 'natural highlights'.

  9. Great lead into your story. We haven't had hair tinsel here either, but as others have said, lots of feathers. My favorite part of the story is when you ran to the mirror & decided the tinsel needed to be removed immediately. Aha!

  10. Thanks for the laughter. I loved the part when you said, "and in moments like this" when referring to those glittery greys. So true!

  11. Elizabeth - thanks for the giggle tonight!

  12. My head is a virtual Christmas tree! A third grader would probably see the little bit of brown that was left and think I had been painting. You rolled this story out well, along with the laughs.

  13. So cute. I think we all need to look at those gray hairs as tinsel!

  14. I've tried to tell first graders that I'm blonde. I think they'd sooner believe the tinsel theory. I can live with tinsel.

  15. So glad first graders are not quiet so blunt...most of the time..but then there is my husband who says "I see you need some youth in a bottle" who needs third graders when you live with that!! lol

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