I must be one of the luckiest people in the world to love my job so much. And they even pay me a bit to do it. I do appreciate that since we all have bills to pay.
The small private school is set back on an acre in the country but close to suburbia. Those kids keep me on my toes. Yet some days I have to do a balancing act to avoid keeling over in delirious chuckles.
We start the day with a patriotic song, the pledge, and then one student gets to “dedicate the day” to someone they admire living or not. What a great way to get our day going!
I announced that one teacher couldn’t be there today because she’s “tied up” but she’d be back tomorrow. One boy’s eyes got big as he took it literally, saying, “Isn’t that against the law?” The next day we began with a unit on Colorful Expressions.
When the students arrive in the morning, their brains and mouths are full of what happened last to them. One gal rushed in to tell me she and her mom “saw eagle-ly blond” last night. While I was writing some vocabulary on the board I added eagle and legal. I laughed so hard I almost became legally blind!
Geometry makes most students happy since it is a cousin of art. When I was introducing the subject–saying it included all kinds of shapes–one gal said, “I already know one of those: the scare.”
Frightened as I was, I continued and clarified that square had a “qu” in it juicy like the word queen. Since she thought herself a princess, she agreed to call it a square striking a queenly pose each time she said it.
When Math time came, I was excited to hold up a chart which said Fractions. One boy yelled, “Fractures?! Did somebody get hurt?” A kid corrected him saying it was factions. I clarified broken bones as fractures, but I just wasn’t ready to get into the politics of factions. There’s always tomorrow.
Lunch presents an opportunity to share bits of our lives. When I was injured falling out of a car I looked horrible for quite some time. I had black eye, red eyes, and my face was all messed up. Luckily the children couldn’t see my arm and leg. A boy spoke tenderly, “Doesn’t that hurt, cause it really hurts me to look at you.”
Then came Spelling–where details count. I was explaining y at the end of short words can make a long i sound and longer words ending in y make a long e sound. Then I wrote WHY on a chart for one list and BUNNY for the second list. Kids took turns adding words to either of the two lists. Then one eager fellow volunteered to write one under the short word list. I wondered if he would write fry, my, try or etc. He sauntered up to the front and confidently wrote Y! Who could argue with that?
Then Language class knocked my socks off! A girl said, “I remember when we used to have a whore at our house, haha. My dad would go out there and play with it every day.” I quickly corrected her with, “Do you mean horse?” She said, “No, you know, a big pig.” It looked like a good time to think of synonyms for pig: hog, javelina, and of course boar. That was so hard to untangle it reminded me of unraveling old timey Christmas tree lights when I was a kid.
Finally, the day is done! Musing over another day of teaching, I remembered the kid who asked was liver tea better than regular tea, and why did the pledge talk about tea? Does it have something to do with the Tea Party?” So tomorrow we’ll have a writing assignment about liberty and justice for all. My work is not done…
Copyright 2018 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.