Of These My Children: Teaching is a Process of Illumination

Students look forward to seeing their friends after the long hot summer. There is so much to share with each other about their adventures in those school-free months.

A boy told me his family loved to watch The Bloomer Shows and they even recorded them so they could watch them over and over. For some reason, I decided to have a Blooper game during our Friday Fun Time.

A sweet young girl told me her mom worked at a psychic hospital. I wondered if it was for psychics, or run by psychics! Maybe I should ask a psychiatrist.

Not to be outdone in talking about moms, one guy said, “My mother was mad at my big brother for coming home late so she gave him an ole tomato!”  I decided I needed to give my class ultimatums for the next few days so they wouldn’t have to use tomatoes in these situations.

Texans are a proud people. They even boast of businesses which had their start in The Lone Star State, like Whataburger. One kid’s impression of that place was almost Biblical when he asked, “How do they make hamburgers out of water?” 

Students enjoy writing about their summershines. Several wrote of water park adventures. Others had fun at camps and vacation Bible schools. But one kid wrote about how her church had scared places! When the children were reading each other’s papers, a young man read it as “scarred places” so I knew we would have an extra spelling lesson later in the day about similar words like scared, scarred, and sacred.

School isn’t really easy for students and teachers alike. Children always have to do what someone tells them to do. A boy was near tears when he said, “I’m having trouble following these obstructions.” My response was for him to read the instructions one more time and not give up.

Kids learn much of their history and politics at home. In Language class, a guy wrote a short sentence on the board. Then he smiled and said, “I put a Commie by it.” I wondered if he’d spent time with his grandpa this weekend, overhearing talk about Communism. Nevertheless, I did a lesson on The Mighty Comma the next day.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what subject I’m teaching. One Monday a young macho boy was reading a library book and asked, “What are mercenaries? Aren’t they the people who teach about God in another country?” Hmm, I guess his church had taken an offering for missionaries, so would his question fall under history or religion?

Science can confuse the mind and eye alike. When we were choosing biographies, one gal wanted to do her report on Dr. Eye Sty! I convinced her to do Dr. Einstein instead.

Another child perked up when we studied instincts. He said he knew all about that, “Dinosaurs already are, and some turtles may become instinct.”  On the playground that day we made up a little ditty “Use your instinct so you won’t become extinct.” The kids loved yelling it as they played a tag game. When they got tagged they became extinct. Before long, I called all my extinct students in so we could develop our instincts for learning.

When Science morphs into a study of Health, sparks can fly in the students’ brains. We were looking at a chart with parts of the body and their function. One eager beaver read clearly, Parathyroids make home runs. Is that right, really?”  Looks like we were heading out to The Edge of Science since I hadn’t really planned to teach about hormones that day!

Math tests can be quite a challenge, especially when fractions are involved. A young scholar announced, “There’s no commentator on this one.” I finally figured out she’d used her instinct to make a contraction for common denominator.

Working with numbers can give you a headache. One charming little gal complained, “I’m getting a 4-ache from doing all this hard math!”  Looks like one more hard-working student learned how to make contractions. She put forehead and headache together real well.

Toward the end of the day one little fellow was getting a little too active and I was trying to settle him down. I said, “Slow down. Say it with me, I’ll slow down.” He said it while threshing wildly. I tried again asking him to say, “Slow down softly.” He repeated the exact words, adding some creative dance moves!

I began to muse that I’d done all the illumination  I can do in one day. Now if those rides would just start coming I could start my daily process of elimination!

Copyright 2013 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print. 


About grantutor

Career educator in both public and private schools. Has tutored all ages. Writes about education, parenting, & seniors. Sings harmony with folk/rock group and a choir. Caregiver for spouse who dealt with Stage IV cancer. Happy person committed to nature and conservation of a green world.
This entry was posted in Of These My Children: Infamous Sayings of Insidious Intellects – Humor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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