Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Excuse Me, But That Book Is MINE!

One very important lesson getting older has taught me is that if you don’t ask for something, you don’t get it…Duh! 

This wisdom has carried over into my classroom in terms of Back-to-School Night Wish Lists.  A few years ago I started hearing about teachers putting up wish lists at Back-to-School Night, but I was always too embarrassed to be that bold.  (I never want to be just one more person asking for one more thing from a parent.)  But…

As I watched other teachers get many of the items they asked for, and as I watched their classrooms fill up with really cool stuff, I thought, ‘Don’t be so stupid, just ask, if they don’t want to get it they won’t, but there’s truly no harm in asking.’  So…

I started asking for book sets to be used for reading groups (this means I need six copies of each book).  Not a small donation, mind you, but not a bank breaker for most folks, either.  What I have found is that many parents want to donate items like this and are glad to have something very specific to look for.  In any given year I might get five families who donate a set of books…over time that adds up, and I now have quite a nice library of reading group books thanks to these generous parents.  Anyway…

One of my dads very happily said he’d donate six copies of a Ready Freddy title I had on my list.  GREAT!  He ordered them, they arrived, and he sent his son to school with them.  His son was beyond thrilled!  In fact, he was so thrilled that he started giving them away!  With sheer pride on his face he said, “Look teacher, here’s the books…and look teacher…I already gave one to Johnny.”  He started looking around like, ‘Who else can I give one to?’  At this point, Johnny had already put the book in his backpack!  And I was left standing there thinking, ‘NO, NO, NO!  Those are MY books!  Somebody stop him!  NOW!’

I look at him with my most charming smile and very gently explain to him that those books are for the class and that they are to be used during reading group time (and that they are mine, mine, mine).  Luckily for me he’s one of those happy go lucky kids…he looked at me like, 'Oh, okay' and marched right back over to Johnny and told him he had to give the book back.  I must say Johnny looked a little stunned, but the most important thing here is that I got MY book back!  Whew!  I was worried I might have to tackle poor Johnny for it!  But…

As the saying goes…all’s well that ends well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fantasy vs. Reality

Fantasy:  Bang-up sex with your husband followed by lovingly drifting off to dream land together in a perfect spoon of satisfied bliss.

Reality:  Bang-up sex with your husband followed by quick showers and him returning to the living room to continue watching Monday Night Football and you busting out the ironing board to get ready for work the next day. 

I know, I know…TMI, over-share, and all that jazz.  Just keepin' it real folks, just keepin' it real!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gotta' Love...

Gotta’ love the kid who sits down at his desk at the beginning of the day, whips out a pair of sunglasses (from where, you don’t know, they just magically appear), puts them on his face, looks around at the rest of the kids like, ‘Oh, yeah, let the record show that we have just established that I am the coolest cat in the room,’ then looks at you like, ‘What?  You got a problem?  Go ahead, lady, do your thing…I’ve got my sunglasses on and I am ready to learn!’

Gotta’ love the kid who, in the middle of an art lesson, decides his front shirt pocket is the perfect storage place for his scissors and glue stick…and then looks around at everyone like, ‘How clever am I?  All the rest of you losers store your supplies in your baskets…big babies…I’ve got mine in my shirt…suckers!’

Gotta’ love the kid who, at the beginning of a lesson in which he gets to use a pen, takes the pen, clips it to his T-shirt collar, and says, “Look everyone, I’m a dentist!” and then laughs hysterically, and then says over and over, “I’m a dentist” (ha, ha, ha, ha), “I’m a dentist” (ha, ha, ha ha), “I’m a dentist” (ha, ha, ha, ha).  A pen clipped to T-shirt equals a dentist?  Really?  If you say so, kid. 

And my all-time favorite…Gotta’ love the kid who calls you over while on the playground at recess…looks at you all serious like…and with all the sincerity a 6-year old can muster says, oh so earnestly, “I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’ve finally figured out who my favorite teacher is.”  I smile all big like, and just as I’m about to say, “Thank you,” I realize the name that came out of his mouth was not mine!  Ouch!  I must confess that one hurt just a little bit. 

Gotta’ love…working with kids!