Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Children entering the classroom must be one of the funniest parts of the day. It illustrates my ability to carry on multiple conversations at one time and make everyone feel important. I think there should be a section for that on a resume.

Child #1: Mrs. R!! You're wearing pink for the third day in a row! [wraps herself around me for morning greeting]

Me: I am? [Huh. Must evaluate wardrobe decisions. Kids watching clothes, not lessons]

Child #2: I got an exshpander in my mouse! My mom hath to turn the key at night. [opens mouth widely to allow me to view the orthodontic wares]

Me: Wow! Looks painful! [carefully extract self from child #1. She begins stroking my earrings.]

Child #3: I found a stray cat! [meows and croons in cat-like manner]

Me: Wow! Are you going to keep it?

Child #2: It ish painful. [Sticks hand in mouth]

Child #1: Don't you have other clothes?

Child #3: My mom's allergic.

All together now:
When he turned the key, at firsht I shcreamed. It's orange and white striped! I like you in pink, I think you look good. We're going to make missing signs. I'll get bracshes after thish. Don't forget to wear green tomorrow, though. Do you think the nursh hash any wax? It has a place on its neck where you can tell it had a collar. I wore my hair like you! My brother hash a head gear. When we let him out last night, he just sat by the door and purred to be let back in. Waxsh would make it feel better. See, I have a low ponytail too! I get food schtuck in my exschpander.
Then the rest becomes a blur. I just start to hear bits of all the conversations and they melt together. I say "wow!" a lot and smile sincerely.
After that round of chaos passed, we got rolling pretty good this morning, then when I was right at the best part of my Davy Crockett Rocked the Alamo lesson, two large burly men appeared as if by magic and stood stupidly in the front of my classroom. I thought for a moment that word had spread about the sheer brilliance of my Crockett Rocks charade, but quickly reconsidered when they stood there, caveman style.
"Some lady said you wanted a pencil sharpener?" one grunted as the other pulled out a drill. Um, actually, I have loved not having a functional pencil sharpener. It meant I got to send the kids elsewhere for their sharpening needs. However, the kids were about to burst with excitement over the prospect of having their own sharpener in the room. (perks!) Fine. I waved Beavis and Butthead over to the sharpener site and carried on with my lesson. Or tried to.
"Okay guys, so Davy Crockett was a leader in what ways?" WHIRRRRRR! I was not going to be outdone by a drill. I raised my voice. "Other than the Texas Revolution what else do we know about him?" WHIRRRRRRR! All of the children's eyes were glued with fascination to the backsides of the two oafs oblivious to the fact that they were in a classroom. Um, during class. "What ways? Hello??" I began to wave my arms. One child finally raised their hand. I pointed eagerly.
"Can I sharpen my pencil when he's done?" Six more hands popped up and everyone began to examine their pencil tips. Sigh. I gave up and sat down at a desk and we all watched the men finish up. At last, they departed with a friendly wave. I finished my lesson and moved on to a reading test, avoiding pencil sharpener use for one last day. (I told the kids that it needed some time to "settle" from the drilling or else it might break like the last one. They nodded reverently and spoke in soft whispers near the new device.)
During the reading test, a boy pointed to a word he didn't know and asked me what it was. It being a test, I didn't want to tell him. "Sound it out," I encouraged him and leaned in. Just for the record, don't ever have a kid sound out the word crevasses. It really didn't go as planned.


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, the joys of the Rapid Pallet Expander. The name alone makes it sound like a torture device. Tell her to get ready for the giant gap that will appear in between her two front teeth. Oh, and tell her to be prepared for her entire upper jaw to *POP* when her mom turns the key. Good times...

-Katie Bonk

Anonymous said...

Correction: Rapid "Palate" Expander. Bygones.


Anonymous said...

Whoever said that children are a joy must have been eavesdropping in on your class. I hope you celebrate the fact that these students care enough about you to share their lives with you. Remember what you say can stay with a child forever and shape how that person develops into adulthood. Wow! What an awesome responsibily.

Your smart-aleck friend (must have come from what a teacher once said to me.)