The ‘Curbside Classroom’ – Year End

Steve the Crossing Guard posted about the final days at school this year.  Can you imagine being at his crosswalk – aka, ‘Curbside Classroom’ and hearing him burst into song, singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning?”  Yes, he really did, and children joined in.  Ah, the power and joy of music.

Oh, there’s more.  He handed out certificates of sorts to the Seniors, 50  tips (lifelong lessons, really) from the bestselling book, How to Start a Conversation & Make Friends and also affirmations from Just For Today.  So, read on about the Curbside Classroom:

The Crossing Guard Chronicles #4, ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’  his June 9th blog post.

The ‘chorus’ joined in, the ‘maestros’ led, the ‘audience’ smiled and a good time was had by all. We’re the ‘pretenders’, middle and high school students and a crossing guard, letting our joyful, if off key voices be heard while waiting to make our way across four lanes of busy blacktop on the way to begin the last school day of the week.

“Oh, what a beautiful morning,

Oh, what a beautiful day.

I’ve got a beautiful feeling,

Everything’s going my way!”

Whatever the reason, a Friday, a beautiful daybreak for a change, or the last few weeks of school, it was a morning to sing, and we did. Well, I did. A few kids knew the words from the Broadway show, ‘Oklahoma’, and accompanied me. The more we sang, the louder we sang.

This magnificent morning, with its cloudless blue sky, was a time to break out in big smiles and we did that, too, even the ‘sophisticated’ Seniors joined. Some early rising real ‘seniors’ from the neighborhood, who were beginning their daily ‘10,000 steps’, showed some spirit by singing along as they crossed and mingled with students.

What a glorious way to end the school year. And quite a year it’s been at the ‘curbside classroom’. From quizzes to quotes, word games and jokes, anagrams and acronyms, new words and old history, inventions and inventors, we learned a lot of ‘stuff’ from each other. I hope some of it sticks.

But what I really hope is that our mornings, which began with ‘have a great day’, helped these youngsters to really have a great day.

I’ve enjoyed their company and camaraderie on sunny days, on cold snowy and rainy days. I wish the best of success and happiness to those who are graduating and look forward to seeing returning and new students next September.

I’ll be there, at the ‘curbside classroom’ with more facts, new challenges, brain teasers and general conversation. Look for the guy in bright yellow.

Steve (June ’19)

To all the students of the ‘curbside classroom’. Continued successes!


Here is an email I got from Steve this week, with the graduation  certificate momentos for the Seniors from How to Start a Conversation & Make Friends and Just For Today affirmations:


I printed 25 copies of these and gave them to Seniors as a ‘graduation’ momento from the ‘Curbside Classroom’. They liked it. Figured they would, it’s a highly motivated group of kids and these are good tips for Life as they join the adult world.

I write my last ‘Crossing Guard Chronicle’ story, ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’,  a couple of weeks ago. It’s been quite a year. They’re all taking finals this week and next Tuesday is the last day.

Time off in the summer. What to do?  I know, ‘lesson plans’…….

Have a wonderful summer, Jennie. You’re terrific.

 Way to go, Steve.

You can follow Steve at

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in behavior, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Imagination, Inspiration, joy, Kindness, music, self esteem, teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to The ‘Curbside Classroom’ – Year End

  1. Darlene says:

    Steve is one incredible fellow!

  2. Andrew McGrady says:

    Reblogged this on Andrew's Testing Page and commented:

  3. Way to go, Steve is right. He is such an asset for these kids.

    • Jennie says:

      He really is, John. Don’t tell Steve that I’m secretly jealous I wasn’t there to sing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” 🙂

      • srbottch says:

        Jennie, if you had been, it would have been a spectacle. We would have stopped 4 lanes of traffic, you and I would have been singing and pretending to be riding horses across a prairie, the kids would have been the back-up chorus, drivers would have come out of their cars to join the chorus, school bus drivers would have been blaring their horns in support. Last, but not least, the local gendarmes would have made their way through the crowd to break up the whole production. Can you see it happening, can you IMAGINE it? A scene fit for a Broadway musical…😂🙀🤪🎵

      • Jennie says:

        It would have been absolutely wonderful! Best of all, the kids would have remembered it forever. And so would have we. Yes, I can IMAGINE the scene. Really! Broadway, move over. 😀

      • You should have invited him to come to the class and do it there. 😀

      • Jennie says:

        That would have been the best…if he lived close by. 😀

  4. ksbeth says:

    Steve is a treasure

  5. My grade four teacher sang that song (Oh What a Beautiful Morning) with our class every morning, and I still think of her fondly. I think if I’d been there to hear Steve do his song I would have gotten a bit choked up. Good for him.

  6. Dan Antion says:

    I wouldn’t have thought anything could have been better for these kids – that is until you introduced us to Steve. This is great advice and a great story.

    Enjoy the summer, Jennie.

  7. Opher says:

    What an exceptional man! I wish the world was full of Steves!!!

  8. srbottch says:

    Jennie, once again you showed us your wonderful qualities by supporting those around you. Thank you for taking the time to share my story with others. And I know it was a lot of time. You did a great job with reintroducing my story, Jennie. The kids are the real story as they motivate me to challenge them with new stuff daily.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Steve. Every teacher should be motivated by children. Period. That’s what makes for a good teacher, and that’s you. Your excitement and stories are the best. No classroom needed! 🙂 I’m one of the lucky ones to read all that you do. Passing it along to others is a pleasure!

  9. Simply wonderful, Jennie.

  10. Have a wonderful summer break, Jennie and Steve…

  11. beetleypete says:

    I hope that Steve enjoys his well-earned summer break.
    And that ‘The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye’ too. 🙂
    His tips are simple to use, and can really make a difference. Better than ‘Instagram’!
    Best wishes, Pete.

  12. I loved this! Steve is a remarkable human being.

  13. I have been a bit behind on my reading and will get over to Steve shortly. I always stop here first of course. Thanks for sharing his wonderful post and for both of you being wonderful educators in so many capacities. Education isn’t just in the classroom. People like you and Steve know that you can educate everywhere. Heck, I’m still learning things everywhere and I’m well past retirement. 😉 I’m going to copy Steve’s list and try to memorize it.

    • You’re so right that education isn’t just in the classroom. I’m constantly amazed at how much I’m still learning at this age, as well as how many of my assumptions are challenged. (I’d thought I was old enough to have challenged my pet assumptions–not so!)

      • I have a saying. “learn something new each day or close the lid” I will learn daily till I no longer breathe. The more I know, the less I really know. 😉 I think that’s why I can’t give up blogging no matter how much time it takes. I learn from everyone. Even preschool teachers. 😉

      • Jennie says:

        I love this, Marlene! You are a beacon that shines on me. Really. My eighth grade teacher said, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I’ve never forgotten that. I can’t give up blogging either. 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      I copied Steve’s list, too. How I wish a teacher had given this to me when I was in school. Like you Marlene, I am learning every day. And thank you for your wonderful comments and kind words. Education can be anywhere!

  14. Thank you for sharing Steve’s post and his lovely email, Jennie. What a great guy.

  15. jilldennison says:

    What an awesome crossing guard! Hats off to Steve … and to you!

  16. Steve is my kind of human being! I love it that he put himself out there for the children and seniors alike. Can you imagine what his treatment did for those seniors, many of them who never get acknowledged for anything from others? This is what I was talking about with children and adults too writing short notes and happy pictures they make from drawing or collage or perhaps colorful painting and giving them to other adults/children all over the world? I just wonder where something along these lines could go for the world, and how it could help people to learn about other places. Perhaps the children could all find pen pals in other countries they write to and share things about the U.S. as the other children share about their countries. Thank you Steve, from the bottom of my heart, and thank you Jennie for sharing this with us. We need to see a lot more of these!

  17. Norah says:

    I love Steve and his classroom. He makes the world a better place every day and I know those positive ripples will spread far and wide as each group of students find their way out into the world. Wishing Steve a wonderful holiday, and you too, Jennie. xx

  18. dgkaye says:

    That Steve is a true gem! 🙂

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