We’ve all heard that adults learn more from children than they can ever teach. In my career my students sometimes informed me of things I didn’t know I needed to know!
On Mondays I hear about their weekend adventures. Sometimes unsupervised TV watching brings up issues in need of clarification. One rather shy gal whispers to me that her TV shocked her. It said, “Take advantage of these sexual offers.” After calming her down a bit, I was able to convince her they really said “special offers.”
Then a young lady said her mom went to the Department of Murder Vehicles on Saturday but they were closed. Motor problems, I guess.
At lunch a very eager boy was thrilled to tell us about the “peppermint pizza” his uncle brought to his house this weekend. I kinda hated to spoil his enthusiasm but I included similar words like peppermint and pepperoni in that afternoon’s language lesson. Tomorrow I’ll bring one of each to show the class. We could have a tasting party.
There is a magical time in childhood when they are so innocent it goes beyond naive. A young scholar told me he had a great idea for getting a good grade on his spelling test. He told me his great plan: “Copy from Dylan–that’s the easy way!” Teachers can find it a momentous challenge to move understanding to the next level without trampling on a child’s fragile psyche.
One day we had a surprise snack brought by a parent. Afterward, I said “Now we all have renewed energy to finish our work.” A guy pipes up with, “What is nude energy?” Boy, did I have some explaining to do! Even his mom had a question or two the next day after their supper conversation. She had a hard time telling me since she kept choking with chuckles:-)
Kids usually show a great love for Science. In our Weather unit someone read, “Trees attack lightning.” I rushed over to see what she was reading from. Another child hovered, “Why would they attack lightning–no way they could win!” I decided then and there to put attack and attract on our Word Magic wall, stat.
In our study of Resources a budding scholar informed us there was another kind of resource besides water, gas and oil “mental resources.” I decided not to wait till recess to play “Animal, Vegetable or Mineral” game. Then just when I thought it was all cleared up, a voice announced, “I’m so glad we learned about mineral resorts.” I decided it was high time to change the subject.
Another young man said his dad was broken hearted since he had to go to his uncle’s funeral. “He died of mimosas of the liver.” Well, maybe too many mimosas might cause sclerosis of the liver, who knows?
At the mention of church, now little guy obviously hadn’t ever been to one. He asked me what that big plus sign in the sky” meant. His car passed it every day on the way to school. It took me a minute to add it all up. While I was recovering, he further explained: “I know most kids say addition is better than subtraction…”
Quickly I interrupted him before the classroom’s brains became even more tangled. I then provided him his first basic lesson in Christianity. Luckily a girl in the room was wearing a necklace with a cross and she pitched in while I was rearranging my brain. Since I feel parents should teach kiddoes about religion, I had a little chat with his mom just to keep her informed of what he was thinking.
On that note, I thought of a church I pass often on my way to church each week. I will never be able to drive by that lovely church with a tall steeple and cross without thinking of the big plus sign in the sky!
Maybe this event points out a good goal for all of us: See that our religion adds to the world by making it a better place for all. As they say, “out of the mouths of babes.”
Copyright 2018 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.