We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Story of A Boy and His Teacher

When people ask me what I teach, I am often tempted to answer "KIDS".  But in my head it comes off smarty marty so I usually tell them the current grade I teach, which is--third grade.  It is quite possibly the greatest grade to teach.  Oh wait.  I feel that way about every grade I have taught because I teach KIDS.


There's this little boy (third grade boy--3GB) in my class.  He was quite possibly the cutest kindergartner you have ever seen.  And then he was the cutest first grader.  And then the cutest second grader.  And now he is in my room.

Admittedly, he has his moments.  Everybody in the building has some sort of funny story and some sort of not-so-funny story about him. 

He gets grown-ups.  Sometimes he gets their goats, if you know what I mean, but he gets grown-ups.

He can be sooooooooo annoying.  He can drive the kids around him crazy.  Earlier in the week a very sweet little girl who has the patience of a saint with people who are not related to her all of a sudden was sitting right next to me.  I kind of looked at her with that look and she whispered very gently, "He is driving me crazy."  I asked her if she would like to move away from him for a while and she vigorously shook her head yes.  Enough said.  I was so proud of her for not lashing out at him and making a scene.  'Cause that is for sure what I would have done. 

The kids in my class have such a heart for him....but they have their limits. 

On Thursday, I was pretty much at my wits end.  4th day in a row of school and the kids were restless. I mean RESTLESS.  I had exhausted my bag of tricks.  (Bonus for everyone--I had been awake since 3:30 AM and was on day 3 of my contact lenses due to broken glasses and I wanted to scratch my. eyes. out.)  I feel these little arms around my middle and feel a big squeeze and when I look down, 3GB is giving me a hug.  When I smiled and hugged back, he responded, "I thought you might need one of these."  Oh. My. Ever. Lovin'landsakesalive.  How did I get so lucky?

Later in the afternoon, during math we are working for what seems like the thousandth day in a row on the same skill, he leans over and says, "Why are your eyes so red?"  The voice in my head said something inappropriate but my outside voice prevailed and I reminded him that my glasses were broken (which really bothered him) and I had to wear my contact lenses in order to see.  He said very quietly, "I am sorry.  I hope your glasses will be fixed soon."  No matter what you say, a naughty little boy has a heart, too.

So bring on Friday.  Yeek!  The entire school was jazzed.  And I do mean JAZZED.  The barometric pressure must have been at an all time high.  There wasn't enough diet pepsi or donuts in the western hemisphere for the teachers in my building.  At 12:40, I requested they call the radio station and inform the public that school was being dismissed at 1:00.  No.  Really, it will save lives.  No.  C'mon, give a girl a break already.  No.  OK...fine.

I EAT my weight in girl scout cookies to survive the afternoon.

3GB is the last one done with our daily poll.  We have a daily poll and then we find the minimum, maximum, mode, range, and median with the data.  (Insert large soapbox here)  Why do those who know best think that 3rd graders need to know mode, range and data?  Whywhywhy!?

Suffice it to say that 3GB doesn't know why either.  Nor does he know any of these terms and what they mean.  Which is a bald faced lie.  I have taught this, my awesome title math teacher has taught this and I have retaught. I have modeled, modeled and modeled some more.

Yet,  everyday we go through the same thing.  Which I have come to understand is his way of trying manipulating me into doing his work for him.  I don't anything for him.  I don't know why he keeps trying this tatic.

So he has written 14-21=11 on his paper to find the range.  (seems we have deeper issues than I thought)

This conversation follows...

ME:  Um, is it possible to do 14-21 when you are in the third grade?  (we talk about someday this will be possible but not in 3rd grade.  Like when you get to high school I tell them.)

3GB:  Yeah.

ME:  Really?  Are you sure?

3GB:  (with eyes that can melt my heart)....Yeah.  I did it right there.

ME:  So you're telling me that you can take 21 away from 14?

3GB:  Yeah.  (his tone of voice is beginning to indicate that he thinks I am a few cards short of a deck.....he's quick like that)

ME:  So if I have 21 pieces of gum and you have 14 pieces of gum and I say GIVE ME 21 PIECES OF GUM RIGHT NOW, you could do that?  (man, I am on to something here....something he loves...gum...this is gonna work....he is sooooo gonna get this.....I am feeling pretty good right about now....quick thinking on my part....whew!)

3GB:  He looks at me with all the admiration he can muster up and says....WOW!  You'd have a lot of gum!

Never mind.  I give up.

Recess, anyone?  Just sayin'.

1 comment:

Mrs. E said...

I love him and I don't even know him! And when he hits Sophomore English--he'll be the one suggesting that chloroforming children could be the best form of discipline or that, "He's only here for the beer." You love 'em, but...! Recess?! Heck, I think you need a glass of wine!

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17