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Friday, December 17, 2004

After This I Deserve Two Weeks Off…..

This should have been a day off.

I figured that all the teachers would have wanted to say goodbye to their kids on the final day before the Christmas break and I was all set to sleep in and take this Friday off. That was until the phone jarred me awake at 06:30am.

The job was a Kindergarten class and I agreed to take it as I thought it should be a short easy day. There are usually two teachers or at least a parent helper for Kindergarten classes. There might be a little holiday party and/or an early dismissal.

The first thing the office told me when I got there was to wash my hands often as there was some kind of stomach bug going around the school.

The lesson plan indicated the kids were supposed to give a morning performance in the cafeteria, art project after lunch and an afternoon party. This was going to be a full day class and there are no other partner Kinder teachers or parent helpers signed up to help.

So much for my grand assumptions.

At the bell, I gathered my 18 little kinders and march them off to their classroom. All the kids were hyped up. Last day of school, their parents were gonna come hear them sing, they were promised a party, etc, etc, etc.

So I wasn’t surprised to see four of the boys hit the classroom and begin rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically. I had heard about “rollers” but this was my first encounter with any. I got them to stop by telling them there would be no party if they didn’t behave.

I had barely completed the attendance sheet when I was called to bring them down for their performance in the cafeteria. The person in charge told me where to stage them and asked where their teacher Mrs. “G“ was. Told her I didn’t know what her ailment was and I didn’t know just what they were supposed to do here. Fortunately one of the other Kindergarten teachers stepped up and said she’d lead them in their song. That was more than fine by me since I don’t do no singing stuff.

After the performance I took them back to class and handed out the planned art project. All they really wanted to do was the party as they all kept asking about it.

One tough cookie seemed to delight in kicking her table mate. I moved her to another desk to work only to find that she returned to continue making herself a pest. She would also sneak out the door to the bathroom without telling me.

Telling her that she had to ask first and go with another girl fell on deaf ears. This turned out to be an all day process trying to keep her in class and not tormenting the rest of the class.

After lunch, they were supposed to quietly watch a movie while I set up their party.

Instead I had to deal with a kid’s bloody nose (Thanks to whom ever suggested that I carry disposable plastic gloves on this job), while “tough cookie” continued tormenting some of her girl classmates.

Where oh where are some of those camera toting parents I saw at the performance this morning? No where! That’s where!

After I got the bleeder squared away and the video going, I located the party supplies which consisted of two gallons of apple juice, a bag chips and forty sugar cookies. Great idea! Add lots of sugar to an already hyped up group of 5 year olds.

I put out only one cookie per kid and turned the rest of them into the office at the end of the day for “disposal”. They pretty much finished off all the chips and juice and several announced that this was “The best’est party” they ever had.

They must have some really dull parties….

The teacher had presents for each kid and I handed them out as they left the room for the day. I held “tough cookie’s” gift for last and had a conversation about behaving in class, not hitting other kids, asking for permission to leave the classroom to go potty and doing what the teacher says.

I don’t think it made a dent as the kid continually interrupted with “but I want my present now….”; “Can I get my present now?….”; “I’m supposed to have my present now….”, “Gimme my present…”

I finally gave up and sent her off with the rest of her class.

After handing them off to their parents, I asked another teacher about “tough cookie”. She indicated that all the teachers knew all about her and my experience was no different than Mrs. “G”s.

I can’t imagine what a class with two or more like this one would be like, but I do know that I’d probably not want to experience it.

I’m REALLY going to enjoy these next two weeks off without that early morning call.

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