I like to video my ELL kids every few weeks so that I can see progress. This week I asked one of my kinders “How old are you?” and he answered “Monday! Monday Tuesday. WizzdayTursdayFriday.”
“Oh! I didn’t know you knew the days of the week! So….are you five or six?”
It was so great. I also like when kids sing the alphabet, because it starts with all kinds of gusto – ” A! B C D (gains confidence) E! F! G! A I (unintelligble muttering) . . . . . ellemenopeeee!!!! ….S….W! S! Y N Z! Now I . . . A B C! . . . . SING WIF ME!” I get kids from all over the world, and those are the lyrics to that song, no matter what the home country.
My suspicions about being lactose intolerant have been pretty much confirmed. Every morning at school we get a roll of bread and either butter or a creamy cheese spread (no, it’s not cream cheese, it’s absolutely different than anything I’ve had in the States. You should probably come visit and try it). For the last three days, after having the cheese and bread, I have had those kind of immediate poop runs where you have a two minute warning before you start throwing up out the wrong end. I get these cold sweats and a sense of impending doom, and I got those premonitions while a student was bouncing up and down on my lap while playing a sight word building game, which was pretty terrifying.
I shouldn’t eat cheese or ice cream or milkshakes or anything at all on God’s green earth that is good and brings me joy. It’s been proven over and over . . . but I think I will keep eating cheese and checking just to make sure, because I like to learn my lesson about eighty times.
Speaking of gas, I made a student laugh so hard this week that he farted, which made him laugh so much harder that I had to hold him up in the chair to keep him from falling. He was laughing because I was pretending to cheat at “go fish.” This kid cheats like no one’s business: “Mih Way! Ook oer derr!” he says, as he rifles through the “go fish” pile to find a pair and then claims “I fih my wih!” One of my job descriptors should be “endless patience for elementary students cheating during card games.” We play a LOT of “go fish.” (For those wondering about the educational side of this, it’s practicing the tricky verb “to have,” expressing possession, counting, and we play it with sight words, animals, letters, family member names, colors, and shapes. And I get to practice humility and patience.)
It amazes me that kids have no idea how much you’re trying to make them win. I lose on purpose so hard, and kids are still saying “But I also have a hundred cards hiding under the table that you can’t see so I’m really winning by a lot.” Same kid can’t remember to zip up his pants or what letter comes after “F,” but is really intense about his card games.
We had Spirit Week at my school, which was an all school activity and so much casual fun (well done, colleagues!). It was a far cry from the stress-induced days of the Spirit Week at my last school (I legitimately fractured my foot one year from too much spirit) and so much fun to see the kids dress up in weird ways. I tried best as I could, lamenting the absence of so many good costume things in my trunks stowed in my mom’s garage, but I managed.
Probably my best was as “Super Professor Christmas Mouse,” or something like that, my name kept changing. I helped kids find their way to Jesus and saved Christmas each year.
The students kept trying to say that I wasn’t a “real” superhero, as the day was technically “DC vs Marvel” Day (like I have any idea what that means). But I would ask “did you have Christmas last year?” and when they said “yes” I would answer “YOURE WELCOME I AM REAL” and then mic drop and walk away.
Before you think I’m a really cool teacher, though, I should note that the first thing I did when I got to school was go to the bathroom and pee all over my tail, which I had forgotten was safety-pinned into my pants.
One of the cool things about teaching in Brazil and living on the beach is that we have really different community-building days for our school, like sandcastle building contests between families this last weekend. They rope off sections of the beach, and families come strolling in on Brazilian time (so like, an hour after we planned to start, and I’ve already taken a nap), and some have blue prints, or squirt bottles to wet down the sand, some have props, and they start creating . . . a variety of things. This is clearly a day for dads, however, and they’re trying to keep the kids busy and away from their canvas and “stop touching that, it’s not ready.”
“Honey, go on down and get me some sand.” “Dad, it’s a beach, all this is sand.” “yeah, but I need sand from… (points to twenty yards away) over there.” The fathers are out there with levels and shovels and testosterone, trying to construct monuments to their legacy. Which is even funnier because some of them are in speedos, as you do in Brazil. The children are romping around, jumping over waves and screaming at each other, and the fathers are calming sculpting their masterpieces. It’s hilarious.
I went down to the wave break and held hands with a particularly precocious kindergartner, counting with her before she jumped over a wave this way, and then sideways, and then backways, Miss Weight! And do you have enough sun lotion on? It isn’t too hot out, but you just never know about the sun. It’s a tricky sun! (this is the same kid that said if I wasn’t pregnant, I was probably just eating too much, because my tummy was big. Children are so precious.)
It’s been a good few weeks for teaching, which is great, because March and April can be hard. Come May, we are basically just in survival mode, and then we’re walking zombies in June. So I’m glad I’ve been blessed with these wee moments of fun to remember when I start to question my career choices . . . which is pretty much every Monday morning! :)
have a good week everybody. take care of each other.