Well, I received an email from the foreman of this conformity factory. It seems that they are frantically gathering our lesson ideas for “Martin Luther King, JR Day; President’s Day, Black History Month, and Casmir Pulaski Day.” This of course was weeks ago, when I was frantically testing 23 kindergartners so that report cards could come out on time.
Me: “Count to 100”
Darling Student: “Okay! 1, 2, Free, 4, Fie, 6, 789…ten…leban…um…twelve…”
Multiply that by twenty-three. I do not Y testing. So, sue me if I didn’t spring into action to figure out who the hell Casmir Pulaski is right away.
So, weeks passed, and I received a second, less amicable email…
Teachers, email me your plans IMMEDIATELY. I need to prepare a statement to be at the ready for a press release to the media, in case it is necessary.
Press release? I tried hard to imagine a situation that would necessitate a full blown press release, and all I could picture were the principal, Jesse Jackson, and a somewhat bored member of the Polish Heritage Organization at the front entrance to the school, flash bulbs going off, while our Fearless Leader, Mr. Principal speaks into several microphones:
“…Rest assured, the kindergarten WILL be reading a Picture Book about Martin Luther King, Jr.… they will confuse the heck out of them by giving only those with blue shirts on a graham cracker, and later explain that it was all a cute little game called ‘My Day of being Discriminated Against’ and they will either learn about history, or perhaps they will simply go home and hide Mom’s cigs for dressing them in orange that day…” (The Rev and representative nodding solemnly).
As far as I know, this is what was learned that day-
I walked into one of the other kindergarten teacher’s rooms, looking for materials and asked her class (while gesturing towards the portrait of MLK, Jr.) “Who is that man?”
“Oh, that’s King Luther, he was the president and told black people they can’t ride the buses…” her eager little munchkins yelled.
My kids, on the other hand, totally got Dr King, but argued passionately about why we were celebrating his birthday.
“But, he’s dead! He’s not getting anything!” my Quiet Instigator yelled. I explained that when someone does something very good for all people, that people still like to celebrate the special way that person helped by remembering their birthday, even after they were gone.
Quiet Instigator looked at me like I was on glue. “Mrs. Clarateaches, when someone dies, they stop getting older, and they don’t have birthdays anymore.”
Little Clara piped up and said, “NOOO, we still can, huh Mrs. Clarateaches-“ and another little guy interrupted her with “Hey, you don’t die when you get shot- my brother got shot, and he’s in jail, not dead.” Just then, my slightly PDD savant girl started rambling about Robert Kennedy.
Thus ended that tender little moment. Let’s see what I can scrape up in March for good ol’ Casmir Pulaski.