Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Here's a Lizard...

I've decided that one of these days I will tape record conversations my kids make during a lesson, just because the way this age group discusses things is just so gosh-darned hilarious. Today I was compelled to do a little from our Harcourt Language Arts series, as my mentor teacher gave me a quizzical look the other day during lunch and asked, "What unit are you on in English?"

Gulp. Actually, we've been working on various Thanksgiving and Fall activities, up until this week. We graphed our travel plans, made a Venn diagram comparing the Pilgrims to the Wampanoag (yeah, my kindergartners know who the "Wampanoag" were... jealous?) and wrote recipes for Thanksgiving food with our third grade buddies. I knew that this was worthwhile when a normally recalcitrant student (Limited English Speaker) brought in a bow that he made out of a bent stick and some string.

So, out came the Harcourt, which told me to read the kids a poem entitled "Dogs," and read a book called "I Have A Pet." We took a "picture walk" of the book before we read it, and my kids created a much better rendition of the story than the original author did:

Me: (holding up the book to an illustration of kids standing in line holding various pets) "What's happening on this page?"

Quiet Instigator: "They're at school!"

Me: "How do you know?"

Various kids shouted, "They're standing in a line! We only stand in line at school!" Well gee whiz, the little sugars are right.

We flipped through the pages, looking at various types of pets.

Octopus Child: "There's a dog! He's taking a bath!"

Little Clara: "You don't take a bath with dogs, do you?"

Choruses of "Eww, gross!"

Giggling, Whispering Girl: "My kitten jumped into the bath with me, she was mad and tried to run away. She's dead now."

Everyone at once: "'My cat's dead, too! ','My cat ran away... ', 'So did mine!'"

I turn the page. An illustration of a lizard and a child feeding it a cricket.

Octopus Child: "I had a dream a green lizard was gettin' me. I don't like 'em, they scratch me!"

Girl Who Likes to Copy Me: "She's feeding him a grasshopper, right Mrs. C?"

Little Clara: "NO! It's a cockroach. My mom just kills them, she doesn't feed them to a lizard."

We flipped through the rest of the book, managing to have a large scattered conversation about the best ways to feed a hamster, as well as the short lives of everyone's pets. A page with a pet bird illustration elicited uprorious laughter, with my kids insisting that birds don't live inside (with a few people insisting that yes, they do!) When I tried to read the book, though; the kids weren't that interested in what the author had to write (some mildly interesting blurbs on various animals and the ways that they are cared for). So much for the Harcourt. We didn't even get halfway through it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kids These Days

Oh man, just when I think I've found a way to control hysterical outbursts of laughing. I try hard to not laugh when my kids bust a move, just because I really don't want to have to manage with 24 kids trying to be funny. Have you ever experienced a child who is trying way too hard to be funny? Yeah, it's sad.

Octopus Child and I were perusing a book entitled The Desert. He picked it out and proudly told me it was about "'Piders." We glanced through the book together while high school students, members of the elite "Key Club" were "reading books" to my kids.

[Which meant, one teen girl was enticing my kids to race chairs, another sat with her head in her hands while my bewildered kids instantly resorted to cannibalism, and the third actually (hey, how about that?) read a book.]

After being Mean Mrs. Clarateaches and giving these young impressionable ladies the evil eye, Octopus and I returned to The Desert and looked for the elusive 'piders. He called each cactus in the book a spider, and when we found a photo of a coyote, happily wrapped one of his chubby tentacles around my head and yelled, "It's a werewolf!"

"It's a coyote," I patiently explained while extracting myself from his grasp. "Say 'coyote.'"

"It's a coyote werewolf. I don't like them, they hump on you," he explained, turning the pages to try to find more werewolves. Gotta love those teachable moments.

Actually, you have to love those moments when kids learn something the hilarious way. After three days of telling Quiet Instigator to stop stealing the Fun-Tac from the back of the posters I stuck to my walls, I found him sitting miserably at the rug as the rest of the kids dashed off to Centers (aka, "Destroy The Room Time.")

"Q.I., why aren't you going to your center?" I asked, wondering why his hand was on his head.

He slowly lifted his hand to reveal that he had stuck about a good half-dollar sized blob of Fun-Tac in his hair, which was sticking straight up in a blue spike. I forced myself to look really grim while I struggled with trying to not laugh. I sent him to the nurse, just so I could die laughing when he was out of the room. My students gave each other the "I-told-you-she'd-crack-before-Christmas" look, and carried about their business. Five minutes later the nurse marched Q.I. back into the room, blue spike still intact.

"Boy, I don't know how to prepare for what you kindergarten teachers send me; first a giant woodchip in a kid's ear, and now this..." the nurse said. She and I mulled the situation over until we discovered that the maintenence man had Goo-B-Gone, and a Fun-Tac-free Q.I. with an oily patch in his hair happily bounced over to the Legos to end his day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Black& Brown & White...

I was kind of waiting and wondering when this would happen... My very diverse group of kindergarteners seemed to all of a sudden realize that they are different. This happened yesterday at approximately 3:14, when we were supposed to be leaving.

Now, in an ordinary school on an ordinary day, it seems to me that kids would be climbing all over themselves to get out the door. Not my kids- they drag their feet, and hide in the bathroom, and lay on the floor under the table just to drag out dismissal time. This causes us to be some of the last kids out of the building. Since some of my kindergarteners have VERY COOL PARENTS who choose to not wear coats or jackets or even a top with sleeves when it's 45* F, I get some pretty adolescent looking snarls and glares as I finally drag their unwilling little feet out the door. In my head I am composing a Budweiser-type advertising song about these people, these "Mr. I-Can't-Leave-High-School-Behind" types. I'll let you know if I come up with a whole one, but in the meantime I just smile like a psycho and wave wildly as my kids leave.

Where was I? Oh yeah. It's like that moment in time when kids see what the other gender looks like. One of my students, the girl who likes to copy me, looked up at me and said, "You're white, right Mrs. Clarateaches?"

"Yes, we call people who have this kind of skin white."

Another little boy, Introspective Child, who has a white and a black parent piped up. "I have brown skin, I'm not white."

"No, you're black!" yelled my little Octopus Child, and before he had a chance to clutch at Introspective Child's arm, I intercepted him. There needs to be an Olympics for this sort of thing.

"He's brown, but he's not a Mexican," commented the girl who likes to copy me (who is of Hispanic heritage).

The dismissal bell had already gone off by now, and the first graders were herding past our door. I explained that people are a lot of different shades of peach and brown, but most people call people with lighter skin "white," and darkest skin "black," and that it's always nice to find out more about people. By this point, I was spatula-ing them out the door and into the hallway. Why can't these Vivian Gussein Paley moments happen during the day, dangitall anyways? My students, especially the ones of color, were still looking perplexed. Introspective Child pinched his arm all the way down the hall, and Girl Who Likes to Copy Me was trying to hold her arm by mine to compare the skin tones.

Hoping this continues, I'm really curious about what else they will say. This seems to be one of those discussions where it really needs to be child-led, as honesty will really be a lot more refreshing than a PC talk about how we're all the same, blendy-blendy, and color-blind blah blah blah. They know much better than that- and what's wrong with that?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Into the Pumpkin Gulag

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Attached you will find a permission slip for our field trip to The Pumpkin Farm. The admission is $7, which all of you will just ignore anyways, seeing as how I teach in Povertyville, IL; and don't worry about remembering to sign the permission slip, as I will be mailing a letter home every day until the day before, at which time I will become frantic and teach your progeny to chant "Sign my slip...sign my slip..." until you do the best you can. So, por favor, make this underpaid pseudoparent happy and just send back something, anything, with your name on it.

Love, Mrs. C.

Well, we had our first field trip on Wednesday to the Pumpkin Farm. And when I say "pumpkin farm," I mean militant hippy commune, where kindergarten teachers are ripped off the buses by rangy women without makeup sporting long gray braids, as they tell us, "Stand over there, we'll unload the children." This made my clingers panic, and my manipulative schemers instantly going into "Plan B" mode-"Try to Take Over the World." I nervously paced around several million pumpkins until my kiddos were returned to me. Still no idea why we all had to be separated.

We were met at the gate by another militant, gray braided woman, this one a bit plumper. She apparently would be our "guide," which meant she escorted the kindergarteners and I, and my seven trusty chaperone moms, over to a train. This train was driven by a really freaky mannequin, (dressed in a prisoner's uniform? WTF?) which for some reason really scared the shit out of my Mexican kids. Around and around they went until the man at the controls woke up and realized where he was. Our next stop was an inflated pumpkin, where kids could jump around without my direct interference, as I was too big to get in there. They used their time wisely, enacting Darwinian "survival of the fittest" maneuvers, clobbering one another until I dragged them out.

The other highlight of the day was feeding creatures at the "petting zoo," which consisted of a million starving goats crammed into a cage. My kids were all excited about this until go-time, when I found myself surrounded by paper cups of goat feed, and little voices telling me that they were scared. So, while some of my kids conquered their fear by chucking the whole cup of feed at the goats (who amazingly, caught and ate it in mid air), I was helping about three-quarters of my kids feed goats, which left me soaking in goat mucus from my elbow to my hand. The next time someone tells me teachers are overpaid, I am going to soak them in goat mucus, and then stick them on a pumpkin commune with twenty-four kids who have to pee.

Several other elementary classes from other schools were there, and I kept finding extra kids in my group from a nearby new elementary school. We just kept chucking them at the Pumpkin Gestapo, and moving on. I congratulated myself on not losing any of my kids the whole day, when at the end of the day, the apparent head SS officer came over and barked, "Excuse me! You lost four of your kids today!"

Beg your ever-focking pardon? "Who do you think you're talking to?" I asked, trying to remind myself that 48 eager little ears were pointed in my direction. "Who are you?" Head SS asked me. I told her, and she froze, said "Oh, ok, never mind," and then walked away. All of my kids, however, were very excited over this, and asked me the whole ride home, "Who was lost? Were we lost? Am I lost? Teesher, what lost means?" and so forth.

I will seek revenge, so help me God. At least mi ninos had a good time.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sotto Voce

It was bound to happen sooner or later- 24 kindergarteners, sticking their fingers into their nose-mouth-eyeballs-God knows what all else, and grabbing me all day. That's right- I have fallen victim to some kind of viral crud. Fortunately, it wasn't the kind of sick where you're totally incapacitated- it did rob me of my voice, though.

Explaining this to my kids elicited a variety of reactions. I gathered the darlings to my feet at the rug, and told them that I had lost my voice. Excited buzz ensued.

Little Mr. Cutie Pants- "Missis 'Appoda, where it go?"

Sarcastic Five Year Old- "It did not- we can still hear you talking."

Girl Who Likes to Copy Me- "My voice is lost, too." (whispered)

I clarified things- my voice was sick and so today was going to be a Very Quiet Day. Which, my over-qualified and under-informed aide took to mean shushing my kids all damn day. There is little more that I hate than the sound of "SHHHHHHH..." It's enough to make me take everyone hostage. And PS- if your school decides to hire a disgruntled administrator as a kindergarten aide, tell them to go... Oh, you know.

Ya see- five and six year olds talk. It's how they figure things out. I do like them to talk in a voice that can only be heard by their table. And, while they do a good job of this some of the time, they still are learning. It seems, after meeting many of the parents, that conversations are held at the level of a fishmonger's wife's holler in many households, so no wonder they're confused. Baby steps, my friends.

So I turned on a nature CD, which included Vivaldi and crickets chirping (and loons calling, and drunks falling into a pond- very soothing). I went to each table and whispered for them to "Listen for the crickets." In less than a minute, I had accomplished what no level of "SHHHH" by the aide could- every child was silent. And listening. They loved it! There is nothing like ending a Friday afternoon with mes petites choux coloring away to Vivaldi, and the aide sneaking home early. Good riddance to her. We've finally earned our fish!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Imaginary Friend? It's Okay!

Well man, I've been delinquent. The amazing world of kindergarten has absorbed a ton of my time, (with a birth on the side, nonetheless, but this is a teacher's blog, not a doula's, so you'll have to get that info out of me some other way. I will say this- I plan on birthing at home, now more than ever. Frikkin doctor...)

Anyways, it's just tons of fun at Room 109. One of the ways I have been trying to motivate my little spazlings into doing "the right thing" (aka not shrieking, staying in one general spot for just a few moments, and participating) is by bringing in a fish tank and all of the little doodads that go along with one. The deal is: if they are by and large well behaved for a day, we add one more element to the fish tank. I was explaining this to them one day on the carpet.

Me: "I have so many fun ideas that I want to do with all of you- but if you're Time Wasters, we can't do them. I will have to take my fun ideas home to Mr. C."

Crowd: gasps
Little Clara: looks thoughtful

Me: "One of these things is a fish tank. If everyone makes right choices, we can add to the tank every day, and soon we can add fish! I hope everyone makes right choices! Otherwise, I'll just have to bring home the fish for Mr. C. to play with."

Little Clara: "Is Mr. C. your imaginary friend? It's okay to have an imaginary friend, right?"

Is Mr. C. truly my imaginary friend? This girl scared the ever-living quantum physics out of me, resulting in an afternoon of pensive reflections about whether or not the last 10 months have been some kind of hallucination.

My kids have been very lovingly bringing me little presents as well. One child, the "Quiet Instigator" has been stealing things from his cousins' rooms and bringing me all sorts of pre-teen girl jewelry. Another boy brought me, of all things, a square inch of bread last Friday. Another one brought me a postcard with a dog and a kitten on one side, with the reminder on the other that "Tigger is overdue for his distemper vaccine." Treasures!

During an observation, it became clear that I'm mashing letter concepts into their little craniums pretty hard when I held up a small triangle and a large triangle and asked them to tell me the similarities and differences. "One's a capital triangle, and one's a lowercase triangle," they all yelled (since when do five year olds do anything quietly?)

Walking them through the hallways is enough to cause other teachers of older students to bend completely in half laughing. I don't go into these trips half-assed, either. We have debriefing sessions that are pretty intense:

Me: "We'll be walking into the hallways pretty soon ladies and gentlemen, you know what you have to do. Are we in wiggly-jiggly lines?"

Class: "NO! Straight lines!"

Me: "How about our voices?"

Class: "Turn them off!"

Me: "What if you really have to say something?"

Class: "We'd better be bleeding or barfing if we are talking!"

Me: "Where are we looking?"

Class: "Straight ahead!"

Well, but attention spans and short term memories aren't what they used to be. No sooner are we out in the hall before:

Limited English Speaker: "Hey teesher, teesher, I hab two things to say-"
Me: "No Limited English, save it."
LES: "Two things-"
Me: "NO." Repeat, repeat, repeat. I tell him to cover his mouth with his hand.

We struggle on, most of the class still hanging on, a few kids losing track of where we are and what we are doing, wander away. Once retrieved, a few other ones do the same thing." We stop and gather our thoughts. Repeat process all the way to the library (or computer lab, or wherever.) Teachers passing us in the hallway practically are in tears trying not to laugh.

More insanity later...

Monday, September 26, 2005

This is Me, Rocking in a Chair and Painting My Face With Glue

Okay, ordinarily I try to be a little tongue-in-cheek, to add a little hilarity to what truly is a hilarious day. And, while I am sure there were hilarious moments to my day, please bear with me while I rant just a little bit.

Dear School Administrators:

Half a day is just not long enough for kindergarten. In the good old days, when kindergarten was all about paint and clay and "don't eat the glue" and "scissors aren't for cutting hair" (this last one was actually heard coming from my mouth today) and learning how to share crayons and let the girls play with blocks, and let the boys in the house center- half a day was probably enough. Now, when there are five binders of state standards on my desk, and a scope and sequence of what my little knotty-headed sugars need to know, half a day is not enough. When some of my kids go to day care in the morning, get on a bus for kindergarten, and then leave on the daycare bus to spend another three hours at day care, a half a day is not enough. When I have to catch some kids sneaking food in my classroom because no one fed them at home, and they could qualify for the free lunch program, HALF A DAY IS NOT E_EFFING_NOUGH.

Let me tell you about how my full day preschoolers had it- we had a whole day to play, and discover, and explore books and new things. I could rip off the tops of pumpkins and they could squish to their hearts content. I could take them outside to jump in some leaves, and we could talk about the words crunchy, crispy, and scratchy. I could create picture recipes that four year olds could follow to make their own play-dough. We could read all together before quiet time, listen to interesting music, and have some rest. We could do one letter every few days, and the kids were learning how to form it and the memory of the letter S and F and all the rest actually stuck without sliding off their very engaged brains.

Now let me tell you how my half-day kindergarteners have it, prefacing this with the very real fact that in later grades, the first, second, and so on grade teachers are wondering why the kids are so hyper-rushed-why they can't do quality work. Well, because somehow I have to cram-pack letter-phonemic awareness into their very diverse little brains, while at the same time setting a foundation for numeration and basic functions of numbers. I have a range of needs to meet, a couple of behavior charts to set up and keep track of, and a child who is still learning English (with all of his might). And, boy, are they learning. They're learning that speed is valued over quality, they're learning that Mrs. C. can't listen to their stories about their mornings, because we only have three and a half hours in one day, and that includes a half an hour for library or computer lab or whatever, and the fifteen minutes it takes to get ready to go home. They're learning that if they just follow along with the rank and file and don't ask questions or wonder why, that they get a gold f-ing star and a treat.

I'm turning into the monster that I hate- the propagator of the "Rushed Child;" the Ritalin manufacturer’s dream. I'm festooning my room with books carefully chosen (and bought with money I could not afford to spend on them, but did anyways) from the IRA and NAEYC's best literature lists, and the kids can barely get a chance to get their hands on them. I just about want to call Geneseo and tell them to take my diploma back every time a kid looks over at the books from where we're doing crap inactive work, and tells me hopefully, "I like Little Critter," and I have to tell them that I hope we get to look at it one day. I feel like I have this great classroom of kids and I can't be a teacher to them the way that I want to because I have so many things to check off the list that was created by YOU ADMINISTRATORS, you who have barely set foot in a classroom, you who don't even visit a classroom except for to critique. Well, I've had it. I've decided that the worst that could happen was I can be terminated without rehire at the end of the school year, so we're going to do this MY way. My students will read and be read to; my students will have a chance to look at all materials I bring in; if I want to let them build a fish tank instead of practicing their name for a day, by God that's what we'll do.

Sincerely, one fed up teacher.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Meet my Kindergarteners

Well, sort of. After a week of reflection and observations (and saying, "Sit down!" eleventy-billion times) I have figured out at least the personality types of my kids.

We have:

The Whiner
The whiner clearly gets everything he wants by whining every waking minute of his day. I do believe this lad actually whined through the Pledge. I know when his hand is up in the air, waving desperately at me because it sounds like there's a puppy in the room. Because I do not have the power of clairvoyance, I idiotically placed him beside the Quiet Instigator. Go me. When the two of them are doing some classic things like pinching, poking, and the latest rage, "blowing on one another's hair," he's laughing until the second they realize I am giving them the Teacher Look, and then he goes into full whine mode. "Ummmm, ummm, he's blowwwwwing me Mrs. C, he won't stooooooooop." When I remind him that he was laughing and never asked Q.I. to stop, he gets sullen and pouty. Yes kindergarten fans, this is one behavior that I will abolish, if it's the last thing I do.

The Quiet Instigator
The Q.I. is someone who is always cheerful and always smiling. He also always has one eye open for me, and the other eye looking out for a worthy target. He's got the "Who, me?" shrug down to an art. He's quite sneaky, and also is turning into the malevolent form of the Q.I.- the Stealer/Liar. I caught him stealing a marble from the marble jar last week, and he still seems to be eying it up every time he's near it. My goal for this little darling is for him to retain his love of taking chances, but transform them from the purpose of picking on others, to pouring himself into some positive interests.

The Little Bossy Girl, aka "Little Clara"
Lord have mercy on my soul- if I had a quarter for every time I say to Little Clara, "Are you the teacher? Please let him write his own name, so he learns how," I would be able to buy the glue made from professional racehorses, not some ghetto sway-backed ponies. This girl's head is on a swivel, and she is constantly in the state of touring the facility and picking up slack. She's actually helpful in that she ties shoes, and has already memorized every second of every routine, but man oh man is she intrusive. She's also another one where I can use her talents after I refine them a bit (like, get her to understand that she does not have the authority to tell another child to move their color to green!)

The Clinger
This kid is the kite to my tail. Literally. I keep having to shift his vise-like grasp to my leg, instead of my rear-end. He trails me about the room, hanging on for dear life, and when I am able to get him to sit down to do some work, he reaches out to grab me every time I walk by. He's gotten much better now that I make sure to give him a hug when he arrives, and stop by his table to pat his head every once in a while. This kid is the one that makes me wish I had a classroom with a rocking chair, stuffed animals, books everywhere, and other toys. I could probably sit and rock with this kid (and a few other clingers) and read stories all day. But, this cannot be.

They're all such neat kids- and I get more fun and hilarity with them tomorrow! I'll have to describe parent types on another day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Some Photos (and much unpaid overtime)

Just thought I'd show off what a little construction paper, and going to work on a Sunday can accomplish.

Although, to be completely fair, when everyone was telling me that Sunday was a good day to accomplish a few things in my classroom, no one bothered to tell me that I would be sharing my quiet work time with the Love Baptist Church. They apparantly rent out the gym, the cafeteria, and a few empty rooms on Sunday from 7 AM-2PM. Which is all well and good, except for the Pre-teen Boys Sunday School teacher and I gave each other a pretty good scare.

There I was, merrily cutting and taping and drawing twelve birthday cakes, singing along with Nirvana on the radio and minding my own business (although I was wondering about the smattering of sharply dressed people in the parking lot) when a large, suited man burst through my door. I just about disembowled myself with rounded-edge scissors, and he immediately flew backwards out of the room. He crept back in, and stared at the primary-hued masterpiece that is my room. "Is this 109?" he asked. Once we had gotten ourselves situated, and he realized that he needed to move his kids elsewhere, I peeked out into the hallway.

This church was not joking around. I saw choir uniforms being briskly wheeled into the gym, I saw a decked out minister striding past a couple of guys pushing an organ behind the choir robes. Accutely aware that "Heart Shaped Box" was mournfully wailing away behind me, I decided to work at a much lower volume. Four hours later, I believe my room turned into something more workable.

Day One of teaching went pretty well, considering it felt like a cross between balancing 23 marbles on a piece of cardboard, and herding cats. I still have a voice, which is pretty noteworthy, and having all of the kids at once wasn't really that difficult. Each of the rules on the sign above tells their own little story. I think I'll save that madness for another day. What was difficult about today was:

#1- I have no desk or computer. All of the attendance and various teacher-paperwork is done online here, and taking attendance and getting it to the office the exact moment they wanted it was tricky. Which means, it plain old didn't happen.

#2- The munchkins can't operate the sink, and therefore, every time one of them went to the bathroom (and, as they are about three feet tall, have lightning-quick urinary systems), I had to hold the faucet on for them with one hand, and try to keep my touchy-feely kid from wrapping his peers in an octapus-hold, using only the Jedi-mind skills I'm attempting to learn from my husband.

#3- No coat-hooks. I get a cheerful reply of, "They'll be here soon!" every time I ask, and I'm sure the second I leave, the office staff die laughing as I sadly trudge my way back to a room where backpacks and coats are in piles on the floor.

#4- No mailboxes or cubby system for the kids. This meant I had to coordinate handing out four pieces of VERY IMPORTANT paperwork at the end of the day. Sounds easy? Try getting one five year old to put one thing in a backpack.

Most importantly, I still want to go back tomorrow. Especially since it's "Computer Lab" day, and I'm dying of curiosity about what sort of technological wonders some of my kids will do.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bananas and Butts

Today I had a chance to view my room, and meet the other kindergarten teachers.

I also had a chance to observe the inner workings of a kindergarten classroom in this particular school- unfortunately, since the class size is approximately 31 right now in both rooms, it's sort of the definition of chaos.

One very cute little guy in glasses and a bright yellow shirt spent a lot of his afternoon rapidly moving. He was on the floor, on his chair, on the table, hugging a friend, and back on the floor in less than 5 seconds. He also at one point was very upset, and shook with rage while pointing to a classmate saying, "He call me 'banana.' He call me 'BANANA!' " I looked at his friend, and then back at this adorable little perpetual motion machine. "Are you a banana?" I asked. "NO! I not a banana!" he replied. He looked at me like I was completely dense until he realized that he desperately needed to take off his glasses and twirl them while trying to tilt on one leg of his chair. Now that's classroom management...
(Note to self, when some of these children are mine on Monday-small favors: Banana is not one of them- work on routines)

Another highlight of the day was in the other classroom. A child who started just today (and therefore has the fortune of being a member of my classroom, due to the system designed by the principal- I get all of the late registries) felt the need to tattle on everyone for everything. One of his better tattles was, "Hey Teacher. Teacher! He was looking at her BUTT!" There is nothing like the hilarity of a classroom of five year olds who hears the word "butt," it slays them every single time. I think I'll have to invest in a little book called "How to Lose All Your Friends," by Nancy L. Carlson, or I'll be up to my eyeballs in this craziness of banana and butt allegations.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Kindergarten Clara

The day I was interviewed, I was memorable in a few key areas, which is why I think I was just hired to teach Kindergarten.

#1: I wore a suit. SUNY Geneseo, if nothing else at all, prepared us in the area of appearance. If we so much as showed up to a field visit with a hint of flesh, we were ripped off the bus so fast, our early morning alfalfa high was just shot all to hell for the rest of the day. Nothing like the extreme wrath of an early literacy programs professor. The other girl who nervously tapped her way through waiting in what has to be the smallest office room ever wore a lasagna strap pink knit shirt, with black Express "clubbing" pants (aka "I can see your thong") and sandal-y shoes.

And what was probably the crowning touch:

#2: I was a total space cadet just as the interview ended. There were about five minutes before the principal was due to meet with Blonde Express Pants Girl, and he gestured towards my left hand, saying, "We have a little time, can I see that?" Me, being the extreme shnook that I am, thought he was talking about my bling, and held my bejeweled fingers out to him. "No, um, I meant your portfolio," the very befuddled principal stammered.


Well, I suppose at the end of the day, all that matters is that now my life is about to revolve around the little brains of 20+ five-year olds, and their various parents. When I give little anecdotes about the hilarty of this age group, I will have to change their names, of course; I want to avoid law suits at least until I'm teaching Biology somewhere. Then, they can bring it.