The sheer volume of questions First Graders ask in a given day would surely bury a lesser person. But for me, it’s all in a day’s work!
Every now and then, though, I think it’s only fair that I get to ask a question or two. If I were allowed this little indulgence, and if I were allowed it today, during the dress rehearsal for our upcoming play, here’s what I would have asked.
Why is it that the child who sings the absolute loudest…I mean really, really loudly, is also the child who doesn’t know the words? I mean, it’s bad enough that the volume is near deafening, but to sing the wrong words on top of that…oye vay!
Why does the child in the front row, front and center to be exact, have his shirt pulled all the way up to his chest? And why, for the love of God, is he playing with his belly button? Does he not realize he’s ON STAGE? In front of an AUDIENCE? Worse (oh, yes, there’s a worse)…his head is down, as he is completely captivated with his belly button, which means I can’t even catch his eye to give him “the look.” You know, the look that says, “Is there a reason that you have decided that RIGHT NOW, ON THIS VERY STAGE, AT THIS VERY MOMENT, is the time that your belly button needs your utmost attention?”
Why is the kid in the back row turned to the kid next to him? And why is he making funny faces, like totally in that poor kid’s face? And why, oh why, is that poor kid putting up with it? If ever there were a time to give someone the ol’ knuckle sandwich, now would be that time…and I’d even pretend I didn’t see it!
Why did the kid in the second row just randomly sit down?
Why does the kid wearing the crown take it off every 30 seconds, swish his hair like Justin Beiber, and then put it back on? Does he not know how distracting it is? Crown off, swish, crown back on. Crown off, swish, crown back on. Crown off, swish, crown back on...I think he has placed me under a spell!
How long, exactly, is the girl in the front row going to stare at her hand and pick whatever is on it off of it?
How long until the kid in the front row takes out his entire row, domino style, because he can’t hold his body upright? (I swear that kid would totally fail a sobriety test right about now!)
How come the one kid in the group with the real singing chops just stands there and refuses to sing?
How long are the two kids in the back row going to think we can’t hear them arguing?
Stop touching me.
I didn’t touch you.
Yes, you did.
Stay on your side of the tape.
I am on my side of the tape.
No you’re not. You're touching me.
Um, hello! There’s a performance going on here. You can have your little argument later, Fred and Ethel.
And the biggest question of them all…
Why do I submit myself, and my students, to this type of torture year in and year out?
That’s easy…because the look of sheer excitement, joy, and pride on their faces when they step out onto that stage and see their families in the audience is priceless!