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!