Gloria’s Necklace, Part 1

Today was not a good day.  Everything broke.  It started with the key to our favorite game, Cranium Cariboo.  We call it “The Ball Game”.  It is THE game, and of course it’s no longer made.  The purple key to the game is necessary to play the game.

The key broke today.

Then the long tongs broke in half.  And the head of the very cool dragon broke off.  Could things get worse?


Gloria’s necklace broke.  For those of you who remember Milly the quilter, this was Milly’s gift to Gloria.  It’s one of those irreplaceable things.  The children know all about the necklace.  Everyone was sad.  I had the children all around me as I spread out the necklace.

Every heart had a detailed picture.  We looked at each heart as if it was new.  In many ways it was new, because I can’t remember the last time I looked at those hearts.  One has a bird with a sunrise in the background.  The children liked the hearts with flowers.

Sometimes things happen for a reason.

There I was, with children pressed against me, studying each heart as if it were a piece of art.  I knew I had to do something.  I announced to the class that I would take the necklace to Tracey Smith to be fixed.  She is a local jeweler, well respected by the big jewelers in Boston.  She knows Gloria.  Her children were in my class years ago.  Both have given back to the school with music and drumming, and summer camp.  Tracey is a strong supporter of the school.

Tracey wanted to do more than repair the broken piece.  She wanted to add missing hearts to the necklace.  We had fun looking at all the choices.

Suddenly, this necklace became more than just ‘fixing a broken piece’.  It was a shift to “What can we do for Gloria?”  Now, that was exciting!  From a storm to a rainbow, all in a moment.  We went shopping!  We found two perfect hearts, plus a beautiful Aqua medallion.  Gloria’s necklace has never had a medallion.  I think Milly would be thrilled!

This video doesn’t exist

Tomorrow we will have a grand presentation to Gloria of her new necklace.  The children will be more excited than Gloria.  Stay tuned for the big event, Part 2, tomorrow.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five 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 was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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64 Responses to Gloria’s Necklace, Part 1

  1. beetleypete says:

    How lovely to see that necklace in its full glory. I hope that you can find someone who is able to fix the other broken things too.
    Looking forward to part 2!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Pete. I think Gloria will love it. Unfortunately there’s no fixing broken plastic, even the heavy duty kind. It’s the tip of the key that is now gone and crucial to the game. But, there’s light ahead- we plan to have the children make things that we can sell in the school lobby to families in order to raise the money to get a new game. Hopefully.

  2. joylennick says:

    How lovely. It’s all about perspective and understanding, isn’t it? Full marks to teacher!! x

  3. Ritu says:

    Oh how precious!

  4. Love the new and improved necklace ❤

  5. Darlene says:

    How wonderful that Gloria´s necklace got fixed and embellished. Games can be replaced. Things break, it´s part of life. Another teachable moment.

    • Jennie says:

      It was a teachable moment, and the necklace is beautiful. Yes, things break, but this one was more than a toy. I’m glad it became an important thing for the children. Today we presented Gloria with the necklace. It was wonderful! Blog post in the morning. 🙂

  6. Wow. Even better, Jennie. Gloria will be so excited.

  7. Great idea for the children to keep learning about how life can work!

  8. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you for this post!

  9. How wonderful that the necklace is going to fixed and enhanced! That medallion is neat and I see Gloria’s face in it! Do you?

    Ebay might have the key to the game.

    • Jennie says:

      I do! Today was the big presentation, and it was wonderful. Photos tomorrow. ❤️ eBay does have a key, which we will get. More importantly, we will have the children make something (not sure yet what that will be) and we’ll have a big sale in the lobby at school to raise $$$ to get a new game.

  10. quiall says:

    Rainbows help us weather the storms

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    Bad days come with the territory. I’m glad you found a way to turn this into something positive, Jennie. I’m sure Part 2 is going to be fun with Gloria displaying her new, improved necklace.

    The other thing that all educators should learn from your story is that many helpful parents would be glad to help if given the opportunity. Your classroom seems like such a welcoming place for the children’s families.

    • Jennie says:

      Bad days definitely come with the territory. I think my favorite bad day blog post was 1-800-Viola Swamp. That was a day! I love that post. You just have to find a smile or a rainbow or something good, because how else can you model overcoming a tragedy for children. Gloria loved her new necklace. Some great pictures for Part 2 tomorrow. Thank you for your words to other educators. If the doors are as opening and welcoming to parents as they are to children, it is a win for everyone. Best to you, Pete.

  12. teacherturnedmommyblog says:

    it is great that you found a workaround and shared it with your children. they see that broken doesn’t mean trash. they see treasures can be fixed. they see that community helps each other. that things can be changed and it’s ok. I hope Gloria likes her fixed and changed necklace

  13. So true – sometimes things happen for a reason. Loved seeing Tracey fix the necklace. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post when Gloria gets her necklace back.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I love the addition of the medallion. Gloria certainly deserves the touch of bling.

  15. srbottch says:

    Others going beyond wheats more than expected. Great teamwork!

  16. Dan Antion says:

    From bad to very good. Thh hg st the transition we like to see.

  17. Beautiful…story and necklace!

  18. As I began reading, I was worried. I should have known that I didn’t need to be! I hope Gloria likes her renewed necklace.

  19. Sometimes everything happens for a reason. And looks like Gloria will get her necklace back more beautiful than ever. Loved the video clip. 💕😘

  20. I came a little late to this ‘party’ but I have to comment anyway!
    That aqua medallion is a worthy addition for sure…and the vid of Tracey plying her trade in the fixing/enhancing of Gloria’s necklace puts yet another face to the people who support the values we share in a very practical manner…

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you for coming to the party, Laura. Late is fine, cool. 😎 I must agree that the medallion is a most worthy edition to the repaired necklace. Tracey was terrific! Like you say, she is one who supports the values we share, in a big and open way.

  21. So heartouching, Jennie! I think this was a wonderful experience for the kids too. Not all but most things could be fixed, with greater audience. Michael

  22. The best kind of people bring their children to you. Tracey did a wonderful job on the necklace. I love the medallion too. I’m so sorry so many things broke at once and especially the game piece that can presumably not be replaced. I’ve never heard of the game but I’m sure someone has and maybe there will be a replacement somewhere. Every the optimist.:) Always a good learning moment when things break.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Marlene. I am ever the optimist, too. Tracey was wonderful, the children learned a great lesson, and there is a replacement key to the game that a fellow teacher found for us on eBay. Still, we will have the children make something to sell in the lobby at school to raise money for a new game. That in itself is a tremendous lesson.

  23. This is such a great story, Jennie. The necklace is very interesting and the new pieces are prefect.

  24. I had to come back to read part one after reading part two. Happy endings always good

  25. dgkaye says:

    A wonderful project to put the beautiful necklace back together. Jennie, the planets are going crazy, hang on to your hats, no surprise things are breaking in this crazy energy time of the moons, eclipses and retrogrades. 🙂 x

  26. A lot of adults don’t believe how important these things are to children, but I remember each and every one of them. Some years ago I was working in a class with juvenile delinquents, many of them living in group homes (if they were lucky). I remember one morning the zipper in a boy’s jacket broke, and he began to act out majorly, throwing chairs and tables everywhere. I put my arm around his shoulder and he began to calm down and he was so upset over that zipper. I told him I knew how to fix zippers in coats and that after I measured it by hand, I would bring another one the next day and replace it (which of course I did). Children whose lives have been severely disrupted by having to be removed from their families for one reason or another need more than ever the assurance and signs of caring by adults who work with them. I was one of the few who was always there for them. Most of the aids, etc. didn’t want to endanger themselves. In all the time I worked there as a substitute, not one child ever hurt me or said anything mean. They all just wanted help with the few good memories they did have. I think that jacket had been given to him by one of his missing adults, and he was clinging to it as if it were gold. Never take lightly when a child or children are sad because some little thing they have seen whole gets broken. Let them know you will help find someone to fix it or fix it yourself. Remember that you may be fixing something a lot larger than a missing piece of a zipper or a piece of jewelry. Thank you so much for all you do for them. Peace and blessings, Anne

    • Jennie says:

      That is just beautiful, Anne. Your stories are rich in meaning. I made the cake with my post, but you added the frosting with your comments. Yes, fixing a ‘thing’ is often fixing a precious moment in someone’s life. Best to you, Anne.

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