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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"So if you see me, acting strangely..."

Today was downright chilly! I was comfortable running my three miles in shorts and a tank top, but by the time I rode my bike later to cash checks and return a DVD, I was glad I was wearing a fleece along with my long jeans--especially since the half-hour I was out was the day's one lapse in clement weather, and I got soaked (in a rainstorm that ended, naturally, as soon as I got home). Inspired by the cooler weather, I made Spanish tortilla and enjoyed it with corn on the cob.

Tomorrow I teach my last three classes of the term. I enjoy my four- and five-year olds very much, as I do my entering fourth- and fifth-graders, but this particular obstinacy of middle schoolers (27, to be precise) is definitely my most challenging group.

Part of the thrill with the younger ones is watching them come out of their shells and engage more in class, though I do also see it with the fourth- and fifth-graders, and even a few adults. It seems to be least common among my middle-schoolers, although I do sometimes see them beginning to emerge, and that's particularly satisfying. With tomorrow's group, on the other hand, the problem is not getting them to talk (they love to do that!), but getting them to focus on the material at hand and be quiet when necessary (there's a reason it's called "silent reading," kids...).

On Tuesday, one of my very active barely-five year-olds was having a hard time, much to his distressed mother's concern, staying in his seat, participating with the activities, etc. During a round of "phonics tic-tac-toe" near the end of class, though, he was really on his game. Asked for a word that started with the sound /s/, he instantly called, "Superman!" He only had to think for half a second longer when asked later for an /r/ word; he cried, "Robot! A muscle robot!" The parents chuckled as I turned to the board to attempt to draw one, which, thankfully, received his approval. "That's good," he said as I turned back to the class, and I sighed with relief. Later, as he was getting ready to leave, he showed me the picture he'd been drawing. "I gave him muscle arms like yours," he said. "And I liked the way you did his chest muscles."

It made my day.


Mom said...

when I first scanned your post I thought the little guy was referring you YOUR ripped arms and I thought to myself, "yeah, that would make a person's day."

Cerise said...

We know how I feel about my mighty pythons!