Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I Am a Teacher

I started back to work with a planning day today. I enjoy my job, but even with no children there I couldn't get everything accomplished. I had 26 items on my to-do list and only completed 12 of those. I worked hard, but there were just not enough hours in the day. So, I prioritized my list and finished everything I needed to do for tomorrow and started working on things for Thursday. I'll get Friday taken care of in the next two days. My plans are complete, I just have to prepare a lot of materials for my first graders. During one of my meetings today, we were given this essay to read to illustrate the need for prior knowledge when comprehending reading. I won't go into the lesson we were supposed to have gained from the piece. What I noticed is that in this field where test scores are so vital and focused on so tremendously (We'd had a stressful meeting about test results BEFORE this reading comprehension meeting.), not much in this piece about being a teacher is very academic. Being a teacher is many things. It's much more than reading, writing and arithmetic. I loved this and thought the teachers in the family might enjoy it too.

I Am a Teacher
Done, P. (2005). 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny, pp. 1-4. NY: Simon and Schuster.
I read Charlotte's Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every year, and every year when Charlie finds the golden ticket and Charlotte dies, I cry.
I take slivers out of fingers and bad sports out of steal the bacon. I know when a child has gum in his mouth even when he is not chewing. I have sung "Happy Birthday" 657 times.
I hand over scissors with the handles up. My copies of The Velveteen Rabbit and Treasure Island are falling apart. I can listen to one child talk about his birthday party and another talk about her sleepover and another talk about getting his stomach pumped last night - all at the same time.
I fix staplers that won't staple and zippers that won't zip, and I poke pins in the orange caps of glue bottles that will not pour. I hand out papers and pencils and stickers and envelopes for newly pulled teeth. I know the difference between Austria and Australia.
I plan lessons while showering, driving, eating, and sleeping. I know what time it is when the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on the nine. I say the r in library. I do no say the w in sword.
I put on band-aids and winter coats and school plays. I know they will not understand the difference between your and you're. I know they will write to when it should be too. I say, "Cover you mouth," after they have coughed on me.
I am a teacher.
I examine new braces and new blisters and holes in mouths where teeth have just fallen out. I can spell vacuum. I know the magic word.
I wear four-leaf clovers and dandelions in my pockets that have just been picked with love at recess. I pray for snow days.
I spend Thanksgiving vacation writing report cards, Christmas vacation cleaning my classroom, and summer vacation taking classes on how to relax. I know the difference between a comma and an apostrophe. I can say apostrophe.
I buy books about cats and dogs and sharks and volcanoes and horses and dinosaurs. I turn jump ropes and am base in tag. I am glad you can only get chicken pox once.
I correct pencil grips and spelling mistakes and bad manners. I push chairs all the way, push swings higher, and push sleeves up while children are painting. I can touch the paper cutter.
I have every teacher mug Hallmark ever made. I say, "Use two hands!" when they carry their lunch trays. I say, "Accidents happen," after they did not use two hands.
I wear green on St. Patrick's Day, red on Valentine's Day, and my bathrobe on pajama day. I poke straws into juice boxes and untwist thermos lids that are too tight. I unpeel oranges that are too tight, too.
I sign library passes and yearbooks and new casts. I attend soccer games and Little League championships and funerals for guinea pigs.
I am a teacher.
I hope April Fool's Day is on a Saturday. I blow up balloons that will not blow up. I always blow the whistle too early at recess.
I can borrow and carry very fast. I give them more time to answer six times eight than two times three. I never end a sentence with a preposition. I know what a preposition is.
I draw stars and smiley faces. I know when to say "can" and when to say "may." I have worn green marker, red paint, yellow chalk dust, glue stick, and glitter all on the same day. I hate glitter.
I always begin a sentence with a capital and end it with a period. I always walk in line.
I leave "shuger" and "vilets" misspelled on their valentines. I know all my continents and my oceans. I tape pages back into books. I can find the end of the new roll of Scotch tape. I call on children whose hands are not raised.
I know that colonel is a really hard word to read, and so is doubt and so is gauge. I know that kids will read started, when it says stared. I have spelled out because and beautiful and friend six million times.
I am a teacher.
I look both ways before crossing the street. I save balls stuck in basketball hoops. I have given 842 spelling tests and have written, "Have a good summer!" that many times, too.
I collect milk boxes and coffee cans and egg cartons. I know all my times tables. I can type without looking. I know that two pretzels do not equal one Hershey's kiss.
I can make a telescope out of a toilet paper roll and a totem pole out of oatmeal boxes. I can make snowflakes out of coffee filters and a space shuttle out of a Pringles can, too.
I know my notes because "Every Good Boy Does Fine." I know my directions because I "Never Eat Slimy Worms." And I can only say my ABCs if I sing them.
I fix watchbands, repair eyeglasses, and search for lost milk money after freeze tag. I know when their fists will make a rock and when they will make scissors.
I know when a child does not understand. I know when a child is not telling the truth. I know when a child was up too late last night. I know when a child needs help finding a friend.
I am a teacher.


Joan said...

And that's just the beginning!

Ruth said...

Speaking of Zippers that will not zip, it does take a school teacher. The zipper on my pulpit robe is problematic...I had trouble zipping it the last time i preached at Trinity. But Cindy Latimer, a retired school teacher was lay reader that Sunday and she zipped it for me immediately...she told me teachers learn the secret of fixing zippers and all kind of things..

Lyn said...

It's so funny that you say that! Today, the teacher next door - or really across the deck since we're in trailers - brought a child to me with a stuck zipper. The child put a coat on for recess and they literally could not get her out of the coat! We tried all the tricks we both know and even got a screw driver and tried to manipulate the teeth of the zipper. Meanwhile both of our classes were getting restless and rowdy, so we sent the child with a plea for help to the office. I didn't hear what they were able to do to help her - surely she's out of the coat by now!

Turp said...

I've never seen that before and I loved it. It's funny, but so true.

teachergirl said...

This is fabulous. May I please copy it for myself and my teachers?

Lyn said...

Yes, teachergirl, please use it. Everyone in our faculty meeting loved it. Thanks for stopping by.