My technical title at my school is “English Language Developer” but in our contract we also sign to do “other duties as assigned.” For someone with my costume collection, shamelessness, and childlike sense of humor, this means I end up being a spokesperson at a lot of events dressed as a banana, organizing impromptu hula-hoop contests, or what have you. It helps that I don’t have a regular classroom, so I can wander about and
start mini-riots get kids into the school spirit and then bounce help the teacher calm them back down and model positive participation.
It’s definitely been a few weeks of “other duties as assigned.” First was chaperoning the first/second grade class (about the squirreliest bunch of kids you ever did meet) up the mountains to the Portuguese royal family’s palace in Petropolis, 1.5 hours by bus, windy roads, traffic, in the rain, while on my period. So if St. Peter has any issues with me when I’m trying to sneak past the pearly gates, you can bet I am pulling that one out of my pocket.
The wooden floors at the palace have to be protected, so we wore these funny slippers on top of our shoes. Obviously, we all went “Risky Business” around the priceless artifacts, and the kids remember that and seeing the royal toilet and little else. Except maybe the bathroom that was on the bus, which completely fascinated them.
Just being on buses in general, kids go nuts. And we live in Brazil! We’re on public transport all the time! Half of these kids bus to school, but something about being on a bus with their friends makes them sing “WHO STOLE THE COOKIE FROM THE COOKIE JAR” and act like maniacs and it doesn’t stop until you make it stop. Or are simply so tired you don’t hear it anymore.
I think for my next field trip, I will simply drive kids around on a bus all day. The bus will be the field trip. They will tell you it was the best day ever. We took the first graders to the Christmas musical dress rehearsal and they said “this is my favorite church! This is my favorite day!” We took them to a grocery store to learn about jobs and it was “the best field trip ever! You are the best teachers!” Kids don’t need anything and it’s the best. I love it.
And now,after stage managing the Christmas musical last week, in between administering 12 or so standardized English exams and writing two page narratives for each this week, taking my Yearbook class to Starbucks tomorrow (in lieu of a final – this is a BIG DEAL, folks!), and chaperoning 6th graders on a field trip Thursday to a fort perhaps located a little too close to the edge of a cliff for us to be with a bunch of rambunctious preteens, I’ve also suddenly found myself planning a MS/HS Christmas party for Friday, and as of this morning, will be emceeing the all school Christmas Chapel on Wednesday, decked out in my tacky sweater and headband ensemble.
So obviously I have spent my lunch break looking up stupid jokes and here is my favorite, which has NOTHING to do with Christmas but I can’t stop laughing and have texted everyone I know about it:
What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?
A CARROT! A carrot. Genius.
Just typing that out now, I snorted. I think I was a Dad in another lifetime. I just love these terrible jokes. I made a page of all my faves. Imagine me on stage in front of PreK3- high school seniors telling this joke, spotlight on, then yelling “thank you, Rio! Good night, everybody! You’ve been a great audience!” with a Dave Chappelle-esque mic drop at the end. That’s how I see it in my head.
This is the kind of stuff I love about teaching. More stand-up comedy opportunities and less meetings, I say.
So the Christmas musical has come and gone again. Again, I was denied my request for a bedazzled mic headset. It doesn’t even have to work! I just want one. We were much better prepared and organized this year, and the weather was about 20 degrees cooler, which helped. There were still several times during the ONE dress rehearsal we had for the 120 children involved, with all their mics and solos and hand motions and moving pieces (all other drama geeks gasp in horror with me) where I literally looked up to sweet baby Jesus and said “haaaaaalp.” We needed a miracle. And we kiiiinda got one. Jesus was distracted during the “microphones that work for our lead actor” part of the miracle.
But it was adorable, the kids whispering “DADDY!” and waving from the stage, spending entire songs mesmerized by pieces of tape on the ground or with their fingers jammed halfway to their brain up their nose, or lifting up their shirts. And they forgot cues and stomped just so on the noisy parts of the stage they had been strictly instructed to avoid. Sigh.
I cried during both the opening and closing numbers and felt very, very proud and nearly fell asleep at the dinner table afterwards, I was so tired. Like, could barely cut my steak and chew it tired. My roomie conducted the entire thing with a fresh second-degree burn on her inner thigh from a Top Ramen incident. I am not kidding. File it all under “things they don’t mention in teacher school.” (ps – file Top Ramen incident under “reasons to love Easy Mac.”)
Tomorrow is the staff Christmas party, which is held on the beach, with a Hawaiian theme, at one of my fav Brazilian restaurants, and we will play Bingo and karaoke so it is safe to say I will be going NUTS. Could it BE any more Rachel?! If there is a tall, athletic, somewhat strange guy there with significant facial hair I will propose myself. (Brian can you hear me?!)
And if you haven’t heard it and you need to today…I will be home in America exactly seven days from now, and if I see you, I will share with you some of this. Except the Cheetos. Those are all for me. But you can look at them. And then look at me, and pass me my Pumpkin Spice everything.