Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Life Lessons from Teaching"

Today I rushed home from school to spend some quality time outside with Miss Minners in the sun with a good book. Well ... it's been so long since I did any "free" reading that I had to search for a book. I ended up picking up The Memory Keeper's Daughter and I'm only one chapter in and I'm already hooked.

While I was finding a book, I ran across 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done. If you are an elementary teacher you NEED to read this book! It's a very fast read and full of great stories. I wanted to share one of my favorite excerpts from the book. It is a perfect description of an elementary teacher's hectic daily life in his or her classroom!

Here's a bit of background to the excerpt. Phillip got into a conversation with his friend, Troy about whose job was easier. Troy mentioned that Phillip's job was cushy because he gets so much time off. (Just for the record, we HATE people who say that about teachers). They decided to make a list of everything they did at work in just one hour and then they could compare the next day.

"So the next day, I began to record everything that happened in class. I started taking notes at 8:30 just as the kids walked in. Here's what I wrote:

  • Ryan told me that he had to leave early for a dentist appointment, Matthew asked to use the bathroom, I started taking attendance, Ronny handed me a note from his mom, Aaron told me about his sleepover, and Michael asked what was for lunch.
  • Katie ran in late, Kevin gave me a picture he drew of Spider-Man, Peter said he didn't feel good, Aaron asked to borrow lunch money, Amanda asked me how to spell octopus, Natalie showed me her new Girl Scout patch, I picked up a glove off the floor, Kenny showed me how he could write 'HELLO' on the calculator when you turn it upside down, I ordered three boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Melissa, and Melanie ran in with a frog.
  • Everyone ran over to Melanie, Tomoya asked to get a drink, I felt Peter's forehead, Ji Soo made fun of Katie's new haircut, I began collecting their homework, Joshua asked if I'd seen his sweater, I handed Aaron a dollar for lunch, Matthew wanted me to read his story, and I taped Spider-Man on the file cabinet.
  • Katie started crying, I sent Peter to the nurse, Joshua went to the lost and found to find his seater, I refilled the tape dispenser and finished taking roll, Amanda announced that her dad is mad at her mom for leaving the car lights on, I pretended to read Matthew's story, Ji Soo apologized to Katie, I told Matthew his story was wonderful, and Ryan told me it was time for him to leave for the dentist.
I stopped writing at 8:47. Later I showed Troy my list. He showed me his. Between 8:30 and 8:47, he waited at the coffee machine for his latte. I'm not complaining. Really. I like frogs. I like Spider-Man. I like Girl Scout cookies. There are those days, however, when I just don't want to stare at braces or look at new pierced ears or pick up sunflower shells. There are days when I just do not want to button up thirty-two raincoats and put on thirty-two pairs of gloves and hats and snow boots and then take them all off then minutes later when the kids come back in from recess."

This is what I feel like my day is every day ... especially right in the morning between 8:25 and 9:05. I'm running non-stop and barely have a time to sit and figure out what I'm doing and where to start.

I HIGHLY recommend this book ... in fact, after flipping through it again, I think I need to read it again before the end of the school year! :)

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Anonymous said...

This is precisely why I was always happy to be a teacher, but not be responsible for a classroom. The poor guy hasn't even started talking about dealing with the parents of those 32 kids.

chitknit said...

I might have to borrow that book for some poolside reading this summer...