Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Picture Day 20-10

As I prepare to close out another school year, I can’t help but stop and reflect on all of the funny things that have happened this year in my First Grade classroom.  Many of the stories I have shared here with you, others I have kept to myself. 
One story that I had kind of forgotten about came up last week at, of all places, the beauty salon (thanks to the fab TT for her endless support).  This little ditty happened earlier in the year, and, quite frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t share it with you already (at least, I hope I didn’t share it with you already...and if I did, well, then, you have my sincerest apologies).
Anyway...it’s picture day 20-10 (you have to say it like that, 20-10, for full emphasis).  Oh, and what the heck, let’s capitalize it, too.  So, it’s Picture Day 20-10.  All week the kids have been sending in their picture money, and all week I have been keeping it in a safe place so that I can quickly and efficiently hand it back to them on the Big Day...Picture Day 20-10.
It’s first thing in the morning and we are gathered on the carpet.  The way picture day works is you are assigned a time, which is never right, and you sit and wait in your classroom for someone to come and get you, and then you hurry up to the picture-taking location, and then you wait some more, and then you hurry up and take your individual pictures, and then you wait some more, and then you hurry up and take your class picture, and then you are finally, mercifully, released to return to your classroom to try and get some work done.  (Now that I think about it, I’m sure the term “hurry up and wait” was, in fact, invented on picture day!)
Because I know our assigned time won’t be right, and because I know the instant the very sweet parent helper comes to get us we will have to am-scray immediately, I always try my best to have the kids ready to go first thing in the morning.  Primarily, this involves making sure that the children have their picture money with them at their desks so that it can be in their hands when we walk out the door.  Trying to pass out picture money during the rush of being called just doesn’t work (been there, done that, learned that lesson long ago).
So we’re on the carpet and I’m calling the students up one by one and handing them their envelopes with the instructions to, “Take your envelope back to your desk, place it on your desk, and return to the carpet.”  Easy, peasy...or so you’d think...
I’m down to the last two kids, which means 21 kids have successfully taken their money back to their desks, placed it on their desks, and returned to the carpet.  21 successes...and then I get to kid 22.  I hand him the envelope, call the next kid, and then breathe a huge sigh of relief that we got this done before we were called and that we can finally begin our day. 
Because I’m a pro (you say OCD, I say pro...whatever)...because I’m a pro, I quickly scan the desks to make sure each and every desk has an envelope on it.  Well, surprise, surprise, there’s one desk with no envelope.  Kid 22.   
So I ask him:  “Kid 22,” I say, “where’s your picture money?”
Kid 22 looks at me like I have just asked him where Timbuktu is.  He truly has no clue what I’m talking about.
Me again:  “Your picture money.  You know?  I just handed everyone their picture money, and everyone put it on their desk, and now I’m looking at your desk and there’s no envelope.  What did you do with it?”
Again, I am met with a blank stare.  I walk over to the closest desk, pick up an envelope, and say, “Kid 22, I handed you an envelope like this.  Just one minute ago.  You took it from me.  What did you do with it?”
Again, no clue.   
So I ask Kid 22 to check inside his desk.  He does, and it’s not there.  So I ask him to check his backpack.  He does, and it’s not there.  So I look at the ceiling for the hidden camera that is recording all of this and I wait for Ashton Kutcher to come through my door because, surely, I have been Punk’d. 
How can a kid watch 21 other kids do something, and then be given instructions to do the exact same thing, and then, a minute later, have no clue what’s going on?!
Asthon never does come through my door.  Thankfully, though, I have a parent helper (and a witness) in the classroom.  I ask her to check his desk.  She does, and it’s not there.  I ask her to check his backpack.  She does, and...IT’S THERE!  Hallelujah!
But wait, Kid 22 just checked his backpack and didn’t find it.  So not only did he put it in his backpack (after watching, or, well, not watching, 21 other kids put it on their desks), but he forgot that he put it in his backpack (one minute after putting it in his backpack), and then he checked his backpack and couldn’t find it.  Seriously?!
Now I think I know why I didn’t share this story with you earlier...one, it’s exhausting, and two, it’s taken this long to fully recover from it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Better Watch…That Mouth…Parents, I’m Talking to You!

We were practicing our Father’s Day song today in preparation for our annual Donuts with Dads event.  Can I just say that at no time during this entire year have we not been practicing a song for something!  If my kids learn nothing else this year, I at least know that they will leave me having learned more songs than they will ever know what to do with in their whole entire lives.

So we’re practicing our song and there’s a part that goes:

…I walk the way he walks, dear old dad
I talk the way he talks, dear old dad…

The song comes to an end and a hand goes up from a little girl in the front.

“Mrs. J., um, the part about I talk the way he talks, well, that’s not really appropriate for me because, um, well, my dad says a lot of swear words.”

I kind of chuckle and say, “Uh oh, whoopsy daisy” which is pretty much my standard response to pretty much anything I hear about my students’ parents that I probably shouldn’t.

Her dad, a great guy by the way, is in law enforcement, so I don’t doubt for a single minute that she hears her share of inappropriate words from time to time (or, um, maybe every day for all I know). 

Now I know what you’re thinking…Just because he’s in law enforcement doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s exposed to things that, well, maybe she shouldn’t be.  And yes, that’s true, except…

I’ll never forget one day earlier in the year when it was time to go home and she told me she was going to the on-campus, after-school daycare program.  She goes a couple of times a week and she’s always very confident (and right) about the days she goes so I don’t question her.  She says she going to daycare…so off to daycare she goes…it’s directly across from my room so it’s no biggie for her, or any of the students for that matter, to just march themselves right over there.

I head on up to the front of the school with the rest of my brood and her dad is there happily waiting for her.  “Aw shucks” I say.  (Oh yes, whoopsy daisy and aw shucks…I am one tough momma, let me tell you!)  Anyway, I tell him that she very confidently marched herself to daycare. 

He looks at me, shakes his head, and says, “That girl is on crack…I told her I was picking her up today!”  He lets out a big sigh, breezes past me, and goes to retrieve his six year old daughter!  I cringe and wait for one of the kids to say, “Mrs. J., what’s crack?”  Luckily, the front of the school is such mayhem at the end of the day that no one (well, no one but me, anyway) seems to have heard what he said….thank goodness!

So there you have it…be careful parents…your kids are listening…and they love nothing more than to rat you out!