Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hot Mess, but Blessed

Just keepin’ it real, friends…the education profession can be a hot mess. The demands are great, the resources are few. We are asked to do increasingly more with significantly less training, less money, and less support. I often cry during the work day. My colleagues do, too. Sometimes it is because we are exhausted. Sometimes it is because we haven’t seen our own children in three nights. Sometimes it is because 100 second graders singing to our veterans is so beautiful and precious that we can’t even stand it. Sometimes it is because we forgot our lunch on the kitchen counter. Sometimes it is because we are laughing so hard…

Today I laughed out loud 157 times at things my students said because KIDS ARE STINKING FUNNY. Sometimes they are trying to be and sometimes they are not and that makes it even better. Sometimes my kiddos make me want to check myself into the Hyatt or the funny farm, but they are tiny, precious humans and I’m 100% in love.

Here’s how my day teaching third grade went down…
*Mrs. Taylor, I like the strings on your shoes. They’re very stringy. (It’s fringe, baby, and thank you…I certainly hoped I would look, “stringy.”)

*Mrs. Taylor, where are we post (supposed) to put this paper when we’re finished? (The same place EVERY paper you ever complete is, “post,” to go…in the gigantic black basket cleverly labeled in a darling font that says, “Completed Work…”)

*Mrs. Taylor, your leopard jacket looks cool. Did you know leopards roar? Kinda like jaguars. (Then she hisses. Like a jungle cat. Then pawed the air. I wish there was a way to communicate the hilarity of this exchange. There is not.)

*Mrs. Taylor, it’s OK that we spilled your water on your desk and it’s running in your purse. It’s OK because we cleaned it with Kleenex. It’s OK. Mrs. Taylor, you should maybe move your water for next time. (Hey punkin’, why don’t you move your body AWAY FROM MY DESK and my water wouldn’t spill. Into my purse. That is now full of wet lumps of tissues. It’s fine.)

*Mrs. Taylor, why did you write, “Who dat, who dat,” on the top of my paper?" (Well, because even though I have mad intelligence skills and the keen ability to perform handwriting analysis on 27% of any given assignment, I feel like I owe it to the teachers in the grades above me to hold you accountable for this minute task that you have been able to handle since you were five years old. Write your name on your paper. EVERY TIME THERE IS A PAPER. Not one time in the history of papers will there EVER be a time I do not want you to write your name at the top. Or on the bottom. Heck, write it in hieroglyphics backwards in purple crayon. Just write it. On the paper. I figured that maybe quoting an Iggy Azalea song would appeal to one of the multiple intelligences that I last received training on in 1997 and that you would feel inspired to write your name. ON. THE. PAPER.)

*Mrs. Taylor, do you think you should eat some chocolate? It might help with how mad you seem.(Sweet pea, you haven’t seen mad. You’ll see mad when the next friend asks me where he’s post to put the paper.)

*Mrs. Taylor, my mom said this money is to feed the hungry. My mom said this money is for t-shirts. My mom said give you this for a turkey. My mom said this is for the fun raiser. (That’s not a typo.) My mom said take this money to the cafeteria. My mom said take this note to the nurse. My mom said could you print that letter. What letter? Just that one you need. Got it.

*Mrs. Taylor, when we did that fire drill, was the school really on fire? (No, if the school had burned down, we would not be in the school now. It would be burned down.)

*Mrs. Taylor, can I get you ice? Can I take out the recycling? Can I take this to the nurse? It’s my haler. For if I need to breathe. Can I take this to my kindergarten teacher? Can I work in the hall? Can I wear your jacket? Can we go to recess? Can we do math longer? Can we play football in the hall?
*Mrs. Taylor, can we stay at school longer? I want to read all the books. (That would be so fun. But no.)

*Mrs. Taylor, you said we could switch plus and times, so I just added all of them even though I think it’s post to be multiply. (Um. No. What I said was that, based on the commutative property of addition, the order of the addends can be switched, so 3+4=7 and 4+3=7. I then clearly explained that, based on the commutative property of multiplication, 3x4=12 and 4x3=12. At NO TIME did I ever mean to imply that any student, past or present could just switch the plus and times.)
But maybe just turn it in where you’re post to without a name, and we’ll start over again tomorrow.

Education may be a hot mess, but I’m so blessed to be a teacher.


Cristi Hopkins said...

Tears are rolling off my cheeks laughing, and I am JUST a kindergarten teacher! I lived your day this week. Thank you for putting it into such perfect words, you hot mess!