Sunday, August 21, 2005

Comedy, Confusion, and Crickets, Oh My!

Wow...this is probably the longest I have gone without posting in forever! This first week of school absolutely wiped me out. Whew! I'm almost recovered and ready for week two after sleeping nearly 12 hours both Friday and Saturday nights. Voila! I'm new again!

After four days of intense exposure and sleuthful observation, I think I have successfully determined this year's cast of characters in my class. We are featuring: One (1) turbo geek [bad...very, very unfortunate], One (1) non-reader [knows some of his letter sounds, though - yeah!], Fourteen (14) non-medicated hyperactive boys [just "all boy" types, nice kids, need training], One (1) possible sociopath [will elaborate later], One (1) perfect angel [will save me later, I'm sure], Two (2) children suffering from severe diarrhea of the mouth, and One (1) big 'ol crybaby.

It's not rare to see a fourth grader cry, especially at the beginning of the year, but it is rare to have a fourth grader cry big 'ol baby tears when their name doesn't get picked from the random drawing for the goodie box. And it is rare for that fourth grader to want to hold your hand - after they have sneezed on it, mind you - everywhere that you are walking. That is unusual.

Though it makes it perfectly understandable why I am already fighting off my first cold of the school year. If I want to stay well, I'm going to have to start being one of those hands-off kinds of teachers. I'm risking my health and well-being crawling around on the floor to sit with kids to read with me and doling out hugs and pats on the back like they are free. Sneer. I've got to toughen up and get my act together.

Another complication to my year so far is the hostile takeover that the crickets have performed on my school, my classroom in particular. If you read closely, you will remember my intense fear of anything legged. It has taken all manner of restraint this week to not have a breakdown anytime one of those black hairy legged leaping beasts soars across the classroom in the midst of a lesson. If you have ever been around a nine year old boy, you know that it has been scientifically proven that it is impossible for them to remain in their seat or keep their mouth closed when in sight of a hopping insect. It's simply in their genetic code, there is nothing I can do to change it, but still, I press on....hoping that maybe this particular lecture will sink in past the cricket sensor that seems to protect their ability to focus in class.

Here is a sampling of the phrases I have uttered most this week:

"Put what's in the air in the chair!"
"Let me see your eyes in you."
"Wow! I like the way ________ is ________ing!"
"Show me a fourth grade line! Hands and arms inside the cart!"
"Let's see if someone who was listening the first time can answer that question."

I think I say those things in my sleep. We're still in the part of the year in which the kids don't think I'm funny in the least. Some days I'm grateful I don't have a door because at least my teammates can hear the funny - FUNNY! - things I'm coming out with. I've had some great material this week just wasted on these little people. I can't wait for October when their little senses of humor start to develop just a smidge- they are so much more fun then.

Right now? Not so much fun. Their communications pretty much consist of:

"When's recess?" [Same time it was yesterday]
"Do we have to write in cursive?" [Same answer I gave yesterday]
"Can I go to the bathroom?" [Not until you ask in the way I taught you yesterday]
"How much longer are we going to do this?" [Until you stop asking inane questions]
"My dog? He's really cute? Wohl....this one time? He got away?" [intense stare until story ceases]
"I've got two things" [Pick your favorite and let's move along]

So, there I am. That's an update on week one. Overall, I think they will eventually be a decent bunch of kids. They're just in that untrained, youngish state right now that can be a bit frustrating if you don't maintain utmost patience, which is how I wind up asleep on the couch every day at 5. Cheers to a fresh week! May we learn new things and remember the ones I taught last week! Happy fresh week!


No comments: