Of These My Children: The Yellow Rose of Taxes

When I hear the question “What do teachers make?” I am reminded of over four decades of teaching. I made memories with our future world–our children.

One week each student did a report on a state of their choice. This gal even brought a yellow rose to hold while she told us all about living in the state of Taxes. Her report was wonderful but her spelling wasn’t perfect.

Another week the students were supposed to find an older adult to interview. One guy went home and asked his dad to help him and his dad responded, “But I don’t work in oil and gas. Maybe we could drive up to see Grandpa this weekend.” It seems the eager young man had asked his dad to help him with oil history. The next day I reinforced what Oral History meant. But his dad had promised a trip, so the grandpa got interviewed anyway!

As part of citizenship training I try to expose the students to several patriotic songs. When the National Anthem started playing an excited student yelled out, “Oh, that’s the basketball song. They play it at the start of the game!”  

Another day in Music we listened to Pachebel’s Canon. A boy protested, “Doesn’t sound like a Rocket Bell to me!”

Since I’ve emphasized the importance of hand washing I sometimes get a response when a child returns from the restroom. One little gal confided, “I guess I used too much water ’cause it almost overfloated!” We discussed how she might adjust it next time to avoid causing the water to overflow.

Language class presents special challenges. We had a lesson on the stronger emphasis given a certain part of a word. One boy told us, “I see, it says right here in the book, the accidented syllable.”  It was no accident that we had a review of accents the next day!

Lunch and Recess are the seasonings that make the days go by faster. In fact, one boy even confided to his mom, “You know some days I don’t even mind coming to school.” Yup, I took that as a fine compliment!

We all enjoy lunch under the trees in the side yard. Some kids eat on the Chocolate Porch and others sit at picnic tables. One kid said his dad got a new TV that was so complicated he had to have a personal complication to set it up. It took a while to convince him that a consultation could help make it easier, not more complicated!

But there are those moments even during play time. One girl rushed up to me and said, “He called me shellfish just because I wanted another turn.” I consoled her by saying I knew she wasn’t selfish since I saw her share just that morning. But since they knew there was a time limit on recess, they went on back to their game.

It’s always an adventure when we learn about other places around the world. One young scholar said, “I bet you don’t know what language they speak in Portugal?”  An answer came quickly, “Pekingese?”  We were informed that only dogs speak that before I could clarify they speak Portuguese in Portugal.

Sometimes we read a story toward the end of the day. Make Way for Ducklings  seemed like a good choice. When it mentioned Beacon Hill in Boston one little fellow asked, “Do baby ducks like bacon?”  I decided it was time to make a picture of a hill, adding a sign identifying the town Boston, and oh yes, a family of ducks.

As the cars were coming to take students home one kid told me his mom would be late so he would like to “use the hearphones” while she was waiting. I just handed him the headphones and said no more.

I was through teaching for the day. The kids had learned a lot, and so had I. My student may live in the State of Taxes but now that I have my snack I’m living in a state of grace!  

Copyright 2018 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.
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