I've got one more week as a teacher under my belt and I have learned some very important lessons.
#1. Kids notice EVERYTHING...
I brought in a ziploc baggie with some cookies my dear sister Kendall made for me to school one day. Knowing that my kids would see them and want them, I hid them behind the frame on my desk.
Claudio came up to give me my morning hug (he's a hugger) and mid-sentence (which I'm sure was about Mario) his eyes zeroed in on the corner of my desk behind my frame.
Claudio: Miss Earl, are those cookies?
Me: Yes they are. My sister made them for me.
*Claudio goes back to his desk and returns a minute later
Claudio: I'm really hungry.
Me: Bummer. We have a long time until lunch.
*Claudio goes back to his desk and returns thirty seconds later
Claudio: Miss Earl, I wish you would put those cookies away. They are very distracting.
#2. ...well, everything that is important to them.
As a second grade teacher, you do a lot of walking backwards. I have learned that as soon as you turn your back to them, kids turn into demons. Without fail. Every. Single. Time. So I walk backwards every day and never watch where I'm going. I know, I'm a giver. I do it for the children.
So this one time I'm walking my class to P.E. and I was getting after someone for talking or pushing their neighbor or one of the million other things I nag my kids about, when I walked right into the metal pole in the middle of an open doorway. It knocked the breath out of me it hurt so bad. And I bit my tongue really hard. And I wanted to cry a little bit. But instead I asked my class, "Why did nobody warn me?"
To which Tehani replied, "You're the one who works here."
#3. Students really do think teachers are all knowing beings.
Leslie: How do you spell because?
Tasi: Teacher, do you know how to spell every word?
Me: Yes I do. Give me a word and I'll spell it.
They threw out a couple of words off the top of their head. School, desk, wonderful... then it got very quiet as they all thought of a word that could stump me.
Tasi: Germany! (with a very proud look on his face)
Tasi: WOW. You DO know every word.
I was trying to get a student signed on to a math website and just wasn't having any luck. The boy sitting next to him, William, noticed my struggling and jumped right in to help. It's important that you know that William can't say his r's or his l's, so everything he says is ten times funnier.
William: Aw you twying to sign on to Fast Math? I know how to get theyoo. But, yoh a teacha. Why don't you know how?
*he looks at me disgustedly and gets on the computer to help his neighbor*
Me: Oh there it is! Thanks, William
William: It was easy. I just went to the student website. How did you not know that? Fast Math is on the student website. Don't foget that because it's weewy impotant. Do you want to watch me do it again? Yoh a teacha. Teachas should weewy know that. (With the same disgusted look on his face.) *This story may not be as funny in writing, but oh my heavens I'm crying just thinking of it. So funny.
#4. Every victory counts.
September is Attendance Awareness Month at our school. Any class that gets less than 8 absences for the entire month gets to have a BYU athlete come eat lunch and play with them at recess. The front office put up posters to track the attendance for each class. For every day you have zero absences you get a star. I never go by the front office, so when I finally did this week I was surprised to see this:
Not only am I beating the entire Second Grade, I am beating the ENTIRE SCHOOL. I have perfect attendance in my class!
We may not be learning much, but we're showing up and that's what counts. Now fingers crossed the athlete they get to hang out with my kids is a basketball player. And a dude.
#5. Kids are full of fun facts. Chalk full of them.
Ruth: Miss Earl, Jameson grabbed my leg and he pulled me off my chair and my last name means mountain of the sea and I really didn't like that he did that but also my first name, Ruth, means friend and so my name is like friend mountain of the sea and now my leg really hurts and I wish he hadn't done that.
#6. It doesn't matter how much you bribe or threaten them, your class will misbehave for the sub.
#7. When your class misbehaves for the sub, you can make them put their head down on their desks and you will have five minutes of glorious, glorious silence. Plus, you feel super BA when you're able to instill the fear of Zeus into 21 little kids.
#8. Notes of appreciation are great. And then they get old.
Especially when they are preceded by:
"Teacher, how do you spell miss?"
"How do you spell Earl?"
"How do you spell are?"
"How do you spell favorite?"
"How do you spell teacher?"
And she still didn't get it right...
#9. When it comes to teacher swag, apples are SO last year.
That is a flower, a bracelet made from a shoelace, and a half eaten Snickers bar.
And nothing says, sorry we were horrible to the sub like some freshly picked weeds!
#10. Kids can't keep a secret.
Miss Baughman (one of the teachers on my team): You're little Cristian walked into my class today and he was doing the splits and cartwheels and just dancing all over the place. So I told him, Cristian we don't do that in the classroom, dancing is for recess time. And do you know what he said? Miss Earl let's us dance! Hahaha, can you believe that?
Me: What? No, that's totally crazy. What a liar, kids are stupid...