Getting up in the morning is always fun since I know I get to go to school. The children teach me new things each day and I usually go home happy tired.
Science makes the students glad to be at school too. Kids are good thinkers. We were reading about the natural world. One guy asked, “But isn’t all our country part of the national world? Another scholar corrected him saying it was “nocturnal world”. Days like t6his are what keep me up at night.
In Spelling class there was a bonus word automobile. Of course I just had to go into teaching mode, saying, “Mobile means move.” I even mentioned the city in Alabama called Mobile. A kid asked, sincerely, “Does that mean spinning around or just move straight?” A teacher’s work is never done!
Opportunity was the other challenge word that week in Spelling. One eager reader said, “pituitary.” But before I could tell him had seen that word in Health class, another budding genius clarified, “He means obituary.” By the time I could weave our way back to the spelling lesson the opportunity was gone.
I should have known better than to start Language class next. First we sang our song about compound words ending with, “Snowflakes and classmates, they’re compound words.” I started the session with, “How do you break a compound word into its elements?” One guy, half asleep, sat straight up and yelled, “What does that have to do with elephants?!”
When it’s bad weather we have recess inside. It’s always nice to see the kids enjoying unconstrained activities. At one table they were rolling dice. One said he got four, another three, then I raised my head when the last one said, “I got fox.” He wasn’t constrained by the fact that the others were using numbers. Then I noticed his die landed near a picture of a fox. I walked on to another area since the children seemed to be having fun their own way.
A girl was playing puppets with some friends, and I complimented how polite they were with each other. A sweet young lady said, “My mom says I’m manure for my age.” I found myself commenting several times that day about how mature the students were that day. We are all aware that children are growing, but I don’t think they need any fertilizer to help it along.
One girl was sitting by herself and I thought a chat was in order. When I sat down and asked her if she was okay, she said, “I’m upset cause I had a dog and he had to go to the doctor. Then my mom walked to the car and said the doctor shot him and he died.” I let recess go long that day since I had to explain about terminal illness, pain, and giving a shot wasn’t the same as being shot. I encouraged her to draw a picture of her dog and write about it instead of the afternoon’s usual assignment.
As we went back to our work one kid said wistfully, “Maybe tomorrow it’ll stop raining and we can play hopscetch.” I decided that we’d better take out the sidewalk chalk tomorrow and spruce up our hopscotch area after all this deluge.
Sometimes misinformation flies around the room like wild bees. We were playing word games and a girl looked at the picture on a card and said, “curtain” but clearly pronounced “kur train”. Someone hollered asking if she meant “kerchoo” and another explained it was “a choo choo train”. Dear God, please help me. I’ve lost control of my vocabulary lesson!
A mom told me a fascinating story about the night before at her house. He was getting tired of his mom griping at him to do his homework. She told him if he didn’t do it he’d get a big fat zero! He wanted to know if there was a difference in a big zero and a little zero. I was happy to know she had to explain that one away.
The school day is over and I reach for my cup of tea and snack. My energy is sapped and I decide to take the advice of one of my students and jump to seclusions till my brain settles down a bit. Maybe the lesson on jumping to conclusions should wait till next week.
Copyright 2018 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.