Teaching in a small private school is such a pleasure. Students arrive full of energy on Monday mornings. A boy said his dad had a birthday over the weekend. His favorite present was blue overhalls. So, does that make this father better at overhauling things? Lots of folks in Texas wear overalls.
A sweet gal said she didn’t wash her face for 2 days cause she had some pace fainting at the festival she went to on Saturdays.
Sometimes children share their bad news. A little cherub was kinda down and when I asked her why she said, “My great grandma died of a blood clog.”
Her friend didn’t even notice since she was all excited about shopping at a sale at The Old Lady Store. I wasn’t sure how to explain the Old Navy Store since it made no more sense than her original impression.
Another student rushed in clinging to his bluebelly muffin.
Social studies lets the kids learn about their country as well as the world. The class was reading about democracy. A young scholar read, “Portugal is trying to establish a dramatic government.” This teacher found herself with enemies when the students from Republican families balked when I said we were studying about democratic government!
The week of Presidents Day I asked the class if they knew who George Washington was. One cherub responded with “Father. . ” but right then her brain stalled out. One of her classmates helped her with “. . . of the Bride?” It took a while to get back to Father of our Country.
Math lets everyone stand up and be counted. A boy heard his friend say the next page was about Curly Fractions. When I looked closely at the page it said Early Fractions.
I was happy to see that he had mastered rhyming words. . .
Subtraction can cause more than its share of grief. A young scholar was thrilled to find, “You don’t need to borrow here. This is just regular distraction!”
Spelling can really mess up the fun of reading and writing. One guy said it all, “Take smells like cake if you change the first letter from t to c.”
Lunch is the best time of the day. As we sat around a picnic table one guy explained, “My grandpa used to be a Barbara.” While I was trying to remember when sex change surgeries started, he continued, “You know, he cut hair.“
A boy said he’d be absent the next day since he had to go to the Orphan Dentist. We weren’t into four syllable words yet, so I guess orthodontist would come up a bit later.
A student said his sister was getting her driver’s license. His friend asked, “What is the maximum age for getting a license?” While I was fishing in my brain for an answer, the first boy told us one of the questions his sister had to study. It was, “What should you do when your car goes into a skid?” He even told us the answer, “Take your foot off the incinerator.”
Sometimes a teacher catches a glimpse of childhood faith, or maybe it was just hope in this case. She told us she was going to get a new hair style, saying “I hope she’s up to it.” I guess only her hairdresser knows for sure.
Science reminds us of how interesting our world is. A smart little gal was reading about the phases of the moon. She yelled, “Look, moon pizza.” She was quickly corrected by another student who claimed the moon looked more like a banana!
When we read about engines, one student brought in a battery powdered car to show as he talked about using less fossil fuels.
Everybody was busy drawing buildings when I added to the instructions, “Be sure to give your building a name.” One little artist decided to name it after the building in Houston where his mom worked. So he made a great sign on the front of his drawing, “The Estrogen Building.” I decided right then and there to teach about how they named buildings after famous people like Esperson.
One fine day our class had a guest ventriloquist. The students had a ball. When school was out that afternoon a mom was told, “We did a Ventura Twist today!” In California I guess that’s a freeway drink, or maybe even a new dance. But I was happy that I could hand the mom a brochure explaining our day’s adventure.
On Library Day a kid checked out a book about dogs. I said, ‘That’s a dalmatian.” She responded, “He has spots.” Since we were learning to compare and contrast, I tried to grab a teachable moment I responded, “We don’t have spots, do we?” She countered with, “Yes we do! We have a spot on each eye!”
At that, I closed my mouth and blinked my polka dot eyes.
Copyright 2013 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.