PERALTA SCHOOL NEWS
Madeleine McGuire, Super Genius Reader
Or at least, new 5th grade teacher
Come with me, back to your grade school years. The agony (of cafeteria lunches) and the ecstasy (of recess).
Madeleine McGuire, one of Peralta’s new 5th grade teachers, remembers the terror she felt when starting first grade. In the way of children, who seem to just know what’s true, young Ms. McGuire was convinced that she had to know how to read in order to start first grade, despite her mother’s assurances to the contrary.
Her mother, recently divorced from her father, dropped her off at school, where her new teacher made eye contact with her. This was the moment that 6 year old scared Madeleine had feared, where she would be forced to talk, perhaps to expose herself as a non-reader.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, she encountered a truly kind presence. Someone who understood her fear, and who didn’t make her talk, who simply led her in to the class — to learn how to read and so much more.
This is the kind of person Ms. McGuire works to be — someone who is known for caring for her people, a teacher who gets who her students are and looks out for them.
From an early age, Ms. McGuire devoured books. High school interests in Chaim Potok and Kurt Vonnegut gave way, most recently, to Americanah, by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. But really, any good story can hook Ms. McGuire. “I like to get lost in a book,” she admitted. As if that were a terrible thing.
If money were no object, she would fill her classroom with endless books resting on sliding bookshelves — anything to hook a kid. While we’re in the realm of fantasy classrooms, hers would include a rooftop play ground, a pool for recess-time swimming, and more space, in particular, a shaded, natural outdoors reading space.
The shy but chatty grade school-aged Ms. McGuire grew in to an adult who loved art education. That love led to her work at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, as a family educator. She thought it was all about the art.
Turns out, it was about the education. At the museum, she discovered the joy of making things with people based on their shared experiences, with art or otherwise. She brings that joy, palpable within minutes of meeting her, to her teaching work at Peralta.
Also, blue ribbon to Ms. McGuire for Promptness of Response to my Request to Interview Her.
Peralta’s Gardens Fail to Maintain Themselves
Coming soon: September 10th Garden Work Day, 9am-1pm, sponsored by your friends, the 5th Grade, AKA the enthusiastic kids the picture at the bottom of this email. All adults welcome to work (not just the 5th grade parents); all kids welcome to play. Or vice versa. Now that might be interesting.
If, somehow, you missed the information about what a garden work day is, and if, by chance, the title ‘Garden Work Day’ didn’t give it away for you, you can email Bryce Gray, brycegray4 <at> gmail.com for the full story and/or The Flyer.
PS: The sod is dead. Long live the sod. More on that in a future issue. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please do come to Garden Work Day and find out.
- Sep 1: Back to School Night, 6:30-8pm, without your kids if possible, though they are charming and delightful
- Sep 7: first PPTG meeting. PPTG does not stand for Peralta Parents are Too Good
- Sep 10: 9am-1pm, garden work/play/eat/chat day
- Sep 26 & 28: are you going to wear THAT? Fall picture days
"Where's Papa going with that ax?"
A killer opening line, you have to admit. Which classic children's story does it come from? First person to send the correct answer to this address wins a Peralta t-shirt.
Answer and winner announced in next issue.
ABOUT PERALTA BROADCAST
If you have any school or class announcements, or interesting community events you'd like to share with the Peralta family, please email or forward the information to this address. Kudos, complaints and ideas for future posts can go to the same.