My group this year also has that one kid that you take one look at and know that he (or she…in my case it’s a he) is going to give you a run for your money. The instant this kid walked into the room I knew I was in for it…mind you, he’s not a “bad” kid or anything like that, but let’s just say he’s one of those kids with, “Here comes trouble” written all over his face. But he’s mine and I’ll figure out something to love about him. Like, maybe, his journal entry today…
At the beginning of First Grade I keep journal writing simple and I basically ask for just one sentence...you know, your basic, “I can…I like…Today I am going to…” sentences…anything that makes them feel successful and that makes them feel like they are “writers” is pretty much fine with me.
He finishes up his journal and I go over to his desk to have him read it to me. I can clearly see that he’s written “I can poop” but I want him to read it to me because, well, listening to the kids read what they have written is one of the highlights of my day and, well, listening to him read, “I can poop” is just too rich to pass up. I point to the first word, which is the universal teacher sign for, “Hey kid, read this to me.” He looks at what he’s written, he looks and me, and he says, “I should probably erase that, huh?” and before I can even respond he starts to erase it. Bummer, too, because sharing it with his parents at conferences would have been hilarious! I point to his next sentence and he reads, “I can have fun in the bathroom.” Oh my, I can tell already his journal is going to keep me in stitches…the trick, though, is going to be to not let him know it!
Same kid, fast forward to later in the day…I’m in the middle of a math lesson, and let’s just be honest here, it’s the first week of school and the kids are tired. Heck, we’re all tired. But most of them are really and truly trying very hard to hang in there with me. Except this kid…I look over and he’s pretty much headless! Imagine looking at a child sitting in a chair and all you see is arms in the air, a shirt pulled over his head, and a wriggling body. Now what am I supposed to do? I can’t give him “the look” because all I see is a collared shirt and the top of his head! So I did what any veteran teacher would do…I looked at this headless, wriggling body, laughed out loud in my head, and proceeded with my lesson…I mean, really, why interrupt someone having so much fun?! Oh, and, um, let’s see…was this before or after I spotted him making a butt crack with his belly button?! Can you say, “Not ready for First Grade?”
It’s going to be an interesting year folks, that’s for sure!