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One of my favorite things about being a teacher is overhearing the things that kids say. Even better is hearing the things that parents say at drop off or pick up. I decided to compile a list of funnies from the past two weeks. Some of them leave me giggling randomly through the day, others, well, you tell me.
Allow me to set up a few of the activities that are on going in my room. First, I have a selection of animals that I use to demonstrate different science concepts. Those critters include a rabbit that hops freely through my room, two bearded dragons, two water turtles, a hedgehog, a leopard gecko and a veiled chameleon. These animals are on display for everyone to enjoy and several of them can be removed from their enclosures for kids to handle safely. Secondly we enjoy lots of experiences in my class. These experiences include paint, glue, glitter, clay, cooking and markers. And I’m sure a lovely ring around the bathtubs of most students. Remember, we don’t make messes, we have experiences. Third my class is tipping the scales with boys. Out of 18 students, I have three girls. And boys will definitely be boys.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, let the fun begin!
Tuesday, two weeks ago, mom walks in with son, reminds him to get his homework out, helps get him situated, then drops down to his level, takes his hands and says, “Now remember, we are not collecting worms in our pants pockets today, or even tomorrow. Worms must stay in the dirt. I do not want to find worms in the dryer.” Mom kisses boy. Little boy goes on his merry way. Mom looks at me and shakes her head as I try very hard not to collapse in laughter.
Then comes Wednesday during reading group. I am trying to get my little darlings ready to begin a new book. I hand out response sheets and open my mouth to begin introducing the characters when one little person pipes up and announces that his dog poops on the floor. Of course this leads to a slew of stories from the other four kids recalling various animals pooping on floors then the flow of conversation changes to hands raised as to who knows how to pick up dog poop. Then it moved to someone remembering they ate a glittery crayon and had glittery poop. It all happened so fast that all I could do was move my eyeballs across to the next speaker. Sometimes I just have to shake my head.
Moving on to Friday of the first week. Again, a mom walks in at the beginning of school, helping her child get settled in. “Momma, I couldn’t get into your room this morning. Why was your door locked?” I step back, not really wanting to be a part of this particular conversation, but not before I see the mom’s face begin to redden. She bends down and starts to whisper to the child, which is not going to do for the little one. “Momma, you always tell me to speak up. You need to speak up, cause I can’t hear you. Why was your door locked? I know you and daddy were in there. I heard you.” By this time the mom is beginning to panic, so I decide to step in and possibly help. “Good morning! Let’s get all of your things put away so we can get our day started!” Bad idea, because now my little person has drawn a third party into the conversation, not to mention other parents and kids are starting to arrive. At a heightened decibel level, with several listening ears, the enlightenment begins: “Mrs. Glass, do you lock your bedroom door? My momma and daddy locked their bedroom door and I couldn’t get in. I know they were in there, I heard them. They were giggling. I knocked and knocked and finally momma came to the door and when she picked me up she was NAKED under her robe!” Then the child dissolves into giggles over the word ‘naked’ and the mom hangs her head as she waves good-bye.
And as if that didn’t start the day off on a rather amusing note, during carpet time that morning one of the kiddos passes gas and is very tickled by it. Which encourages the others around the circle to giggle and start making bodily noises. As I’m trying to pull everyone back in, the little one does it again, causing me to suggest a bathroom visit. The response I get is that maybe the rabbit did it.
Then it starts all over the next week.
On Monday during science we review animal families. I always cringe when I get to the characteristics of mammals, just like I do when we are rhyming words with ‘duck’. It seems every year I have a student who knows quite a bit more than a typical first or second grade student. As I ask for a volunteer who can tell us the characteristics of a mammal, the hand of THAT ONE shoots up and as most of us early childhood teachers know a hand that shoots up somehow automatically triggers the speech mechanism even before we call on that child. “Mrs. Glass! Mrs. Glass! I know! I know! A mammal has hair, gives birth to live young and the mommy makes milk for her baby. She makes milk for her baby out of her BOOBIES! We all have boobies, but boys don’t’ make milk, only girls! I got milk out of my mommy’s boobies for three years! I love my mommy’s boobies! Did your kids get milk out of your boobies?” There’s always THAT ONE. As I’m trying to process the words that were just spoken, another child pipes up and says “How can anything give birth to dead young? Wouldn’t everything that was born be live?” Sometimes I wonder how I can ever stay ahead of these kids.
Tuesday and Wednesday went fairly smoothly, with the exception of the first-and-second-grade-made-up-knock-knock-jokes. Gotta love these little jewels. “Mrs. Glass! Knock, Knock!” Of course, I play along. “Who’s there?” Please, for the love of all things good, please don’t say ‘orange’. “Tomato.” Whew, maybe it’s a new one. “Tomato who?” Giggling child who is having spasms of snorting: “Tomato grows in a field!” AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH……
Then Thursday hits and I have two parents walking in at different times reminding their kids to not put rocks, dirt, sticks, grass or grub worms in their pockets. At all. No matter what. What is it with these kids collecting playground treasures in their pockets? Especially things that are living! The rest of the day goes by smoothly, until pick up. We are all on the playground enjoying our beautiful fall weather. Mom comes to get child. Teacher calls for child. Child comes running. Mom bends down to child’s level and proceeds to empty child’s pockets on the concrete. Paperclips, string, a block, a rubber ball, legos, a pencil, two roly polies (geez!) four marbles, a dead grasshopper, five rocks and eight counters from math. How in the world this child’s pants stayed up while playing is beyond me. The mom calmly collects all of these items, places them in my hands while her child gives a sheepish ‘I’m sorry’ and tells me she has noticed quite a few random things floating around in the washing machine and dryer since the beginning of school and then asks me if I think this could be a problem. Ummmmmm….
I think I’m ready for fall break…